How organising a case challenge led to a job at GE

19 April 2018

  • Annual healthcare case challenge brings career move for one MBA
  • GE Healthcare director was impressed by the student's speech
  • This year's competition is on a heart condition that affects 34 million globally
  • Winners of the two-day challenge will take away £4,500

MBA graduate Farah AbdulHadi has revealed how organising Warwick Business School’s annual Healthcare Case Challenge landed her a job at GE Healthcare.

The 30-year-old used her full-time MBA year to take up a wide variety of opportunities outside of simply studying, with volunteering to be Director of the WBS Healthcare Case Challenge one of them.

With teams from universities and business schools all over the world entering, the challenge is a two-day competition held at Warwick Business School with the winners taking home £4,500.

It is not only a chance to learn about the healthcare sector but offers networking opportunities with fellow students and executives from the industry, something Farah took full advantage of.

“When I started working on the case challenge, I didn’t expect to get a job out of it - I didn’t do it because GE was the sponsor,” says Farah. “I got into it to milk my MBA experience, to take part in extra-curricular activities and then it paid back.

“When I organised it the challenge was finding solutions to managing dementia. When I gave a speech at the final ceremony, a senior partner at GE Healthcare was listening. He sent an email to the school, recognising how the case challenge was a success, and he also mentioned me by name.

“Consulting was what I wanted to do from the start and, in healthcare, I felt I could not only benefit myself but help other people as well. I reached out to the GE Healthcare director; I was offered an interview; and I landed the job!”

This year the WBS Healthcare Case Challenge is being held on June 1-2, with the topic being atrial fibrillation - a heart condition that is a leading cause of stroke and affects 34 million people worldwide.

Last year’s competition focused on sepsis and was won by Septic Think Tank, a team from WBS, whose plan to build a social enterprise to prevent skin infection in children won the judges over and beat 11 teams from Canada, Mexico, Italy, Spain and the UK.

Related course: Full-time MBA

Teams of students from all over the world fly in for the two-day challenge after being sent background information on the case study and receiving further details on the day. Each team then has 20 minutes to give a presentation and answer questions from the judges about their proposal, with three going through to the final.

It is a lot to organise while coping with essay deadlines and fitting in lectures, but Farah says it was one of the highlights of her MBA.

“It was hard work, but so rewarding and got me this great job,” says Farah, who is now senior consultant and assignment manager for clients in the UK and across the Middle East at GE Healthcare.

“Most people go to career fairs, networking events, and resume workshops, which are all channels for getting a job. But there are also other opportunities that can help you stand out.

“I would also say turn your challenges into opportunities. I came to the UK in a difficult year. Brexit was mainly about immigration and I was coming from the Arab world. But in the mindset of all of that, I found the opportunity; I found a sponsor for my visa, and I made my way.

“The UK was always the number one destination for me. I believe in the strength of education in the UK and I also loved the fact that most MBA programmes in the UK are one-year programmes.

“Warwick’s MBA programme emphasised leadership and soft skills. I felt that while it’s easy to read a book and learn from it, you need someone to help you with your soft skills if you want to develop them. Warwick did that.”


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