Undergraduate Ulysses Kee shares his experience of participating in the prestigious John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition (JMUCC) in Montreal, Canada at the John Molson School of Business.
My successful application for Associate Dean Student Experience Fund allowed me to attend the JMUCC fully sponsored by the Warwick Business School and the Warwick Case Club.
Each year 24 teams from renowned universities across the world are invited to the JMUCC and are challenged to think on their feet and are tested to their limits to solve on-going business cases submitted by real companies.
After arriving in Montreal, my team and I enjoyed a welcome ceremony where we were given the exciting details on the JMUCC. We were also given the opportunity to network with other delegates participating in the case competition and were introduced to representatives from sponsoring companies. Once the competition began, we had three hours to prepare, dissect and analyse the issues of each business case, and provide a detailed solution to each business issue in front of a panel of judges. The JMUCC was both mine and my team members first experience of a case competition, however we were able to quickly grasp the format of the competition and effectively manage our time to produce results under pressure.
In the first round, we were asked to analyse a business case for a small accounting firm that revolved around market expansion. In the second round, we were asked to analyse a business case for a high fashion brand that was looking to increase its sustainability efforts and capabilities. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a cornerstone of the mandatory topics taught to us on my degree BSc Management, and by participating in the case competition, I was able to utilise concepts and theories that I had learnt to make relevant connections between the academic and business world. In the third round, we were asked to analyse a business case for a major bank that was looking to introduce and market its new wealth management platform. The business cases we had to work on were highly diversified and required close teamwork to ensure we found effective solutions to the business issues. We topped the division at the end of the three-hour rounds.
After a demanding few days, we were given a well-deserved break and got to explore Montreal. Our team ambassador and other Concordia University students showed us the iconic sights and must-try good foods of Montreal which was an utterly amazing experience. Energised and recharged after the day off, we plunged into an intensive 24-hour case study and spent the entire day working through the intricacies of the last business case, which was based on a railway freight company, and involved detailed supply chain management of railway logistics. This business case was the hardest one to analyse and provide cogent solutions to. Nevertheless, we managed to provide a structured and profitable solution for the client at the end of the 24 hour period. We proudly finished first in our division and progressed to the final round where we presented our case study solution to a panel of judges from the railway company alongside seven other teams.
The JMUCC was WBS’ and the University of Warwick’s first experience of a case competition. By virtue of reaching the finals of the prestigious competition, we stood out in front of the various sponsoring companies and made a name for Warwick on the global circuit, which was a great achievement for us all. From my personal experience, I believe that participating in the JMUCC gave me an unprecedented opportunity to network with students from other world-renowned universities, and provided me with a great consulting experience that will be hugely beneficial to me in my future career. The Associate Dean’s Student Experience Fund from Warwick Business School gave me the opportunity to attend the competition along with support from the Warwick Case Club, which I am extremely grateful for.
The Associate Dean’s Student Experience Fund at WBS has been created to support current students financially who are interested in pursuing projects that will help the student develop and apply their knowledge and skills learnt within their undergraduate course towards, for example, a volunteering opportunity or case challenge.