Last month, while Seattle enjoyed some rare days of spring sunshine, four Foster undergraduates and their faculty advisor traveled to chilly Montreal, Quebec, to compete in the McGill Management International Case Competition (MMICC). The week long competition, lasting from March 11th through March 17th, consisted of a healthy mix of rigorous case work and cultural immersion. Jack Post, Carolyn Qi, Aarthi Ganapathi, and Mike Guevarra, along with Accounting faculty member, Izzy Weber, spent their non-case cracking time exploring Montreal and enjoying the “the world’s friendliest case competition,” before diving into a challenging 36-hour case analysis. Read on to learn more about the team and their experience at MMICC!
“Recently, I had the tremendous opportunity to represent the Foster School of Business and UW (and the USA!) at the McGill Management International Case Competition (MMICC), held in Montreal. With me were my teammates Jack, Aarthi, Caroline, and our faculty advisor Izzy Weber, all of whom I’ve had the pleasure of preparing with the months leading up to the competition through the Global Case Competition Club (GC3).
Being almost entirely organized by McGill students, it was easy to see why MMICC is described as the “friendliest case competition in the world.” It was a wonderful week, filled with beautiful tours throughout the snow-packed city, learning about French-Canadian culture, and participating in social events with the international students! But of course, who could forget about the case crack? In brief, it involved our team holing up in a hotel room for 36 hours, learning the ins-and-outs of the apparel industry to develop an expansion strategy for a locally-headquartered multinational company.
We fell short of placing as finalists. However, any disappointment felt was easily washed away by tremendous gratitude for the wonderful lessons, memories, and relationships gained over the course of only a week. It was stunning to hear all the positive feedback our team received after presenting, from international faculty and judges alike who commended us for our solid analysis and great ideas. I started personally competing in case competitions to grow beyond my weaknesses in business and presentation skills. To be a part of a team and see that my time and education at Foster can already amount to something so big as competing at the highest level on the international stage is extremely motivating. I am especially motivated to share what I learned with my peers, continuing to build GC3 and the talent we have at Foster. By and large, I believe the unique privilege to gather with over 100 bright students around the globe to learn from one another and grow together has added a deeper dimension to my college experience!
Lastly, some special Thank You’s to Angela at the Global Business Center for advising all things surrounding international case competitions, our MMICC faculty advisor Izzy for her supportive coaching, and Team UW’s McGill student ambassador Flo for her hospitality. (Fun fact: Flo will be visiting us for a short vacation trip in a couple months!)
– Mike Guevarra, ’18
“Competing at MMICC was the perfect culmination of my time at UW. Having consistently competed in case competitions throughout all four years at Foster, I was able to utilize everything I had learned to create a presentation and strategy my team and I will always be proud to have created. The actual competition taught me a great deal about organization and the effectiveness of simplicity within a deliverable, but also confirmed that competitors from UW can create strategies just as competitive as any other school. The biggest takeaway I had from this competition is that it is critical for competitors to reinvest newfound knowledge into their universities to improve the quality of presentations for future teams.”
-Jack Post, ’18
“Being able to experience an unfamiliar city and culture, flanked by my teammates and case ambassador, was a singular experience. On this trip, Jack, Carolyn, Mike, Izzy and I got the chance to bring all of our backgrounds and biases to a new place, and challenge our assumptions together. We gained experiential knowledge in ways we hadn’t ever anticipated.
Most of our competitors felt like family by the end of the week, and I’m happy to have walked away from this case with memories of great times with these teams from various top business schools, and also a new horde of ambitious peers in my network. It seems our paths may cross again in the future, and I’m glad they’ve taken so well to our UW group; we aimed to represent Foster well!”
-Aarthi Ganapathi, ’19
“MMICC is known for being the “friendliest” case competition in the world, and it wasn’t until I got there that I truly understood what that meant. From the moment our ambassador Flo (short for Florence) gave us the biggest hug when she picked us up from the airport with her mom, I knew this case competition was going to be different from any other experience I ever had. In the next week, I interacted with people all across the globe. I sang “Wannabe” with the girls from Switzerland and Australia, had tubing races with the Canadian and Thailand teams, and danced to “Thrift Shop” with the Hong Kong and University of Pennsylvania participants. I got the chance to interact with a group of passionate individuals, representing their schools in the case competition. From all the activities, I was able to gain a more global view on what it means to be a business student. During dinner, we got to hear about the other international case competitions participants got to attend and the internships they have held during their time as college students. For the first time, I got the opportunity to network with individuals around the world.
By the time the case was released, our team was prepared to get a chance to showcase what we had been practicing over the last couple months. Since most of our preparation was at a University of Washington local level, we were still unprepared for the international competition playing field. Watching the other competitors compete was an eye opening experience into how other schools approach problems, organize a presentation, and presented dense information. Our advisor, Izzy Weber, was even kind enough to take notes on all the teams for us to learn from and improve. I am more motivated now to implement the new ideas we learned and grow as business professionals.
Overall, the experience was an opportunity to gain case competition experience while also getting to know individuals from around the world. I got the chance to gain a global understanding to business issues, learning more about how others approach the same business problems. In a week, I gained friends from around the world. I feel truly blessed to have had the chance to represent Foster School of Business in Montreal.”
-Carolyn Qi, ’18
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.