What it's like to be the Director of the WBS Case Challenge 2017

23 May 2017

Students from eleven Business Schools from around the world tackled one of the UK’s biggest causes of death - sepsis - in this year’s Warwick Business School Case Challenge. WBS partnered with GE Healthcare, GE Healthcare Finnamore and The UK Sepsis Trust for this year’s challenge, with the winners pocketing £4,500. Ashima Goyal, Full-time MBA student, describes her role as Director of the WBS Case Challenge 2017.

Ashima Goyal

"While I was exploring options to do my MBA, I stumbled upon the website of Warwick Business School. As a person, I am very enthusiastic towards taking initiative and in my previous stint with Deloitte, I have taken a plenty of initiatives. I wanted to carry the stride forward and was looking for a Business School which can give me same exposure via student-led initiatives. I saw the WBS Case Challenge and thought it was the annual flagship student-led event. I had not applied to Warwick Business School at that time but I knew for a fact that if I did my MBA at WBS, I wanted to be the Director of WBS Case Challenge. The rest is history!

A month later into my MBA, the applications for the various positions in the Case Challenge committee were open and I applied only for the position of Director of Case Challenge. Just like any other job, I had to submit my CV and cover letter explaining why I was an ideal candidate for the position. I was then selected as Director for Case Challenge following a strong application and previous experience with event management.

My first task was to ensure that the team was comfortable working with each other. After the initial meeting, I realised that I was the youngest person, leading a team of eight. Some of the members were ten years older and more experienced than me. I have never been put in a situation like that and it was a bit challenging at first. Nevertheless, I did my background research and identified what I could build upon from last year.

Related course: Full-time MBA

Three weeks into the role, I spoke to a lot of people. The Director of last year's challenge, the CareerPlus team and corporate relations were all there to support and guide me. I had the chance to recruit the teams for this year and that’s when I understood how recruiters look at applications for jobs. Eleven teams from leading business schools from Canada, Mexico, Italy, Spain and UK made it to the competition.

I wanted an aggressive social media presence for the event this year. In the process, an Instagram account was setup and all other social media accounts were quite active throughout the event. There were times when I had to handle conflict between committee members, coordinate with teams, attend classes and work on my assignment deadlines.

For instance, on Thursday, the day before the Case Challenge, I was editing a video as a part of group assignment and attended a cohort dinner. On Friday and Saturday, I was in the event for the whole day. I had a deadline to submit a 3000-word assignment and alongside that, I had to attend my full-day class on Monday. My previous consulting experience helped me to manage the time pressure and deadlines. Even amidst all the chaos of deadlines and so much happening around, I maintained my calm.

Laying out a clear strategy was important but communication and bringing everyone on the same page was equally important. Throughout the event, there was no running around, no confusion and luckily no fiasco! I attribute the credit to my team and all the exercises we did to go over the event schedule. Everything was pre-planned and if there was any new addition, my team knew what to do or where to find me. This is when I realised the necessity of building and empowering people.

This was a leadership experience I'd never had before and in the process I learnt the art of delegation and communication. It facilitated my transition into a leadership role after my MBA. This has become the highlight of my MBA and I can proudly say that I was a part of a successful endeavour."

Read more about the WBS Case Challenge and events of the weeekend in our news article here.