“My experience as a case solver at the Hogeschool Rotterdam” by Catherine Narvaez Zavala

One year ago, I was looking for a minor like any other HR student. There were so many options that I did not know what to choose. Then I came across the minor All Stars Rotterdam (ASR). At first, I was afraid of participating because ASR is a minor+ for honors students, and me, well…I am just a regular student. I decided that this shouldn’t be a reason for me not to participate, so I signed up. And this was the beginning of a new adventure.

ASR family

Within ASR we really work hard to give each other the feeling of belonging, of being part of the family. There are no decisions made without considering everybody’s opinions and this is something that our coaches promote. The ASR family consists of students from all study backgrounds and even different parts of the world. This makes it special because you learn about cultural differences that might help you in the future as a professional.


Every single student of the ASR gets to participate in a competition. Our team got the chance to go to Guadalajara, Mexico to compete with other well-renowned universities from all across the world. There are no words to express how this experience was. During the day we worked hard on cases and during the evenings we had fun. We had some days free, and this is where the cultural activities took place. We went to small villages, and we even visit Tequila, where we saw how the production of tequila is made. We had a gala dinner in a UNESCO world heritage place, we got to sing Mariachi on the bus and eat one of the most delicious foods I have ever tasted.
My experience in Mexico was more like a cultural exchange.

Knowledge management

We, the students of ASR, give master classes on the topics that we decide. This is an opportunity to share your knowledge within your field. Because the cases are very different from each other, there’s always something you don’t know. For example, I did not know much about IT or Human Resources. After attending one of these classes my knowledge of these topics improved and then could contribute more to the next IT or HR case.

ROCA ambassador

The ROCA competition takes place at our university (KZ). And this time we host different well-renowned universities. ASR students become ambassadors and make sure that our guests have a fun time. I got to be the ambassador of the Mexico team. We had a close bond because we spoke the same language and we had more time to get to know each other in Mexico. After the 3 cases, we had time to spend around the city. We went ice skating, to the Foodhall, and had our gala dinner at the SS Rotterdam. It was back again a fun experience like in Mexico.

Case writing

It’s not only about case cracking in this minor. We also get to write our own cases. These cases can be used for competitions or for study purposes. When learning how to write a case you’ll start seeing the case from a different perspective, you’ll step into the feet of the protagonist. This gives you a better understanding later when cracking cases. To write the case you’ll first need to find a business, so then you will start networking.

Collaboration with other minors

During the minor, we collaborated with another minor, Business and Society. They were having their own competition called Hackathon: Let’s change the face of food waste. We helped them by giving a presentation on how to crack a case. At the same time, we coached them and some of us, like me, were part of the judging panel. Being part of the judging panel was an eye-opening experience because I realized very clearly the elements that were missing when giving a presentation. So, the next time I would participate in a competition I tried to step more into the judge’s feet and made sure the presentation was more clear and with no question marks behind it.


Sadly, the end is near, and we will close this minor with our own competition. The RCC is a competition organized by students for students. For this competition, we all got a task from marketing to budget allocation. We are actively looking for students from all institutes that want to give case-solving a try. With this competition, you will experience how to crack a real-life case. We really hope that the RCC competition will be eye-opening for you on why you should choose All Stars Rotterdam as a minor.

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