Organising the WBS Healthcare Case Challenge
25 July 2019

Full-time MBA participant, Yajur Mahendru, describes what it's like to help organise the WBS Healthcare Case Challenge 2019.

I have always enjoyed organising events, be it at an undergraduate university or at corporate level. I have had the experience of organising conferences, guest talks and sporting events. Hence, there was no reason for me to not be a part of the WBS Healthcare Case Challenge 2019, especially it being my first experience outside my home country - India. As soon as the nominations opened, I submitted my application and was selected by the CareersPlus team to be the “Co-Director for Logistics”. 

My main duties and responsibilities

Along with a fellow classmate from the Full-time MBA, I was responsible for the overall execution of the event, including liaising with various departments within the university, getting the place ready for the events, sorting out food and beverage arrangements, arranging for the print of materials and organising accommodation for the guests. It was a major responsibility to arrange things for more than 120 people whilst keeping the school’s banner flying high.

The preparation required for the Case Challenge

The committee was appointed just before the Christmas holidays, so we knew who the people were and what their respective roles would be. We got straight into planning mode from January and would meet as a team regularly to plan things. I and my co-director for logistics, Said Muhtadi, happen to live in the same building in Coventry. So, quite often we used to meet up there and plan things besides having spicy Indian food. By the end of March, we had booked-up all the places required for hosting the event and accommodating our guests. From mid-May, we got into final execution mode, wherein we did surveys of various on-campus stores, whose services were required to host the Case Challenge.

Working with other members from the team

The Case Challenge was organised by nine committee members along with the WBS CareerPlus team and executed with the support of six student ambassadors. Different members held different portfolios, such as marketing, external relations, finance and logistics. It was great to work in a highly diverse team, which had people from Azerbaijan, Brazil, Germany, India, Ireland, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, Thailand and United Kingdom. There was a very high energy within th eteam that helped to make the event a success. We worked as a team where everyone supported each other. It was interesting to learn from one another.

My key takeaways from organising the Case Challenge

WBS Case Challenge 2019 saw teams from various parts of the UK, such as Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, London, Manchester and Edinburgh. It was a perfect platform for us to not only listen to highly innovative ideas presented by the participants, but also to network with MBA students from various universities in the UK and with corporate professionals from our sponsor organisations - GE Healthcare and Pfizer.

Helping to organise the Case Challenge has taught me many things - most importantly the differences between organising an event in my home country compared to the UK. For me, the Case Challenge was a wonderful experience and it was so interesting to see how certain small things that I would neglect when hosting events in my home country, are actually of high importance in UK, and vice-versa. The Case Challenge also gave me the opportunity to visualise a lot of human behaviour and organisational behaviour concepts, which were taught during the MBA, while working with various teams and stakeholders.

There are several other key takeaways I gained from the event:

  • Be prepared for rain, even when it’s sunny. No matter how much you plan, things can go wrong on the day. One has to stay cool and handle things calmly.
  • Plan well and plan ahead. This is something that I learned from my co-director. With advance planning, there is a little room for error and in case unexpected things happen, having a plan enables you to set up contingencies accordingly.
  • Lastly, make it look easy. No matter how complicated or difficult the event is going, always be positive. It improves the morale of the team and increases productivity.

I will certainly take the lessons I learned from Case Challenge 2019 and apply them to the corporate life post-MBA.

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