Hong Kong Bound: Foster Goes to HKICC 2018

This past October, four Foster undergraduates – Michael Kwan, Yoojoo Lim, Aarthi Ganapathi, and Carolyn Qi – along with their faculty advisor, Shaosong Ou, traveled to Hong Kong for the HKUST International Case Competition (HKICC). The team, all members of the Global Case Competition Club (GC3), trained for years to prepare for an international case competition like this – comprised of one rigorous short 3 hour case and one 22 hour final case. Read on to learn firsthand about the team’s experience in Hong Kong:

The UW Team at the HKICC 2018 Award Reception


“Competing in the Hong Kong International Case Competition (HKICC) was truly an incredible experience. HKICC signified an opportunity for me to compete internationally and represent the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. The competition was intense, featuring both a 3-hour kickoff case as well as a main 22-hour case; however, through this experience I had the ability to travel to Hong Kong, participate in numerous cultural activities, and apply my business knowledge against schools at a very high level of competition. Additionally, I met with international competitors from schools such as the Queensland University of Technology and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). By conversing with other participating schools, I was able to learn more about particular schools and their business culture. Ultimately, I walked away from this experience having built many connections in different countries. I remain grateful for this opportunity as the HKUST faculty and students showed great hospitality through planned excursion events, delicious group meals, and an abundance of competition resources for all participating teams. HKICC was a memorable experience, and I’m looking forward to keeping in contact with my new connections in the future.”

Michael Kwan, ‘19

The UW Team boarding their flight to Hong Kong


“As my first case competition outside UW, HKICC was a humbling learning opportunity to which I applied my academic and previous case knowledge. The competition was hosted at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which was located in Clear Water Bay, a peaceful side of Hong Kong in contrast to the skyscrapers and congregations of high rise apartment buildings crowding the main island. We first visited SOGO, the company focus of our case, allowing us to see how high end retail works in Hong Kong and its unique consignment business model. The three hour kick-off case about sustainability in retail management pushed our team to think quickly on our feet, and then our final 22-hour case stretched our thinking to create a feasible, high tech solution for a low tech client. Competing in Hong Kong also taught me how international judges perceived our case and we received feedback from SOGO managers about our recommendations. In our off-time, we explored Hong Kong. We commuted back and forth between the school and city for our school excursions and events. By the end of the week, I felt like a local, comfortably navigating the public transportation system with several favorite wonton shops on hand. Through this case competition, my team and I made lasting friendships across borders, learning much about Hong Kong, other countries, and diverse perspectives. Ultimately, HKICC was an unforgettable culmination of my senior year.”

Yoojoo Lim, ‘19

UW Case Competitors exploring Hong Kong with their HKUST Ambassador


“Competing in HKICC was a great opportunity to work a case with real-world implications, meet students from other business schools around the world, and explore a city that was foreign to me and my teammates. By training through GC3 meetings and practice cases, we honed our skills and were able to present well at the competition itself, getting positive feedback from judges, students, and other advisors. In turn, we also learned a lot about how we could improve for future cases. Not only do international case competitions provide academic growth, but incredible cultural exposure and unforgettable exploration as well. I’m so thankful to have had a chance to participate in this competition.”

Aarthi Ganapathi, GC3 President, ’19


The Global Business Center is proud to sponsor these students and promote international collaboration across the globe. To find out more about case competitions and opportunities to compete in them, follow the Global Business Center on Facebook and check out the Global Competitions page on the GBC website.

Leave a Reply