“Taking leadership over your own life and career is one of the most difficult things a student can do, yet those who do will succeed”

During my international business and management study, I noticed that I enjoyed the projects much more due to the application of theory in a practically oriented assignment. After finishing my internship, I decided to sign myself up for the Business pressure cooker. As the business pressure cooker revolved around case solving, it was different compared to the conventional program for the sixth semester. The agile consulting programme was a more autonomous approach where the teachers were coaches instead. The coaches guided us in our learning process by giving lectures when asked for and providing feedback after presenting our solutions. The focus in the program is much more leaning towards independent work in which you take lead over your own improvement. 

I am glad that I decided to apply for the business pressure cooker as I gained a lot of knowledge concerning: case solving, consulting, the business environment, and how to operate in a team under time pressure. Furthermore, I developed and broadened my skill set. A few examples of my personal enhancement are my analytic and presentation skills. Additionally, I broadened my skills in operations and marketing.

Thus, after the growth within the Business pressure cooker, I had to take the next step and join All-Stars! The aspect of more in-depth live case solving on an international level while representing the school triggered me. Moreover, I liked the challenge of being in the role of the consultant and thereby advising companies with a feasible, creative and in-depth solution. The All-Stars class consisted of interdisciplinary study backgrounds which enabled me to learn from others and vice versa. This fits perfectly in the concept of “growing stronger together and thereby becoming the strongest individuals and teams as possible”. The All-Stars minor has an even higher emphasis on you as a student taking leadership over your own improvement. The level expected from you as a student was beyond the agile consulting program; in the All-Stars minor, you represent the school on international case competitions and thereby competed against international top universities across the globe. The unique features from All-Stars compared to the Business pressure cooker are: you will actively share knowledge & coach others to grow stronger together, organize a case competition, compete in international case competitions and write a case for an enterprise. 

These activities gave me new experiences:

·       Writing a case for a company is not only a unique opportunity to interact with the business environment, but also to gain a deeper understanding of cases. 

·       Organising a case competition provided me with insights into how competitions are from the organiser side. This is something you do not realise when partaking as a case competitor.

·       Teaching in class helped to get a deeper understanding of the taught subject

Besides the development in my career, there was also a focus on personal development. The classes from the coach focused on personal development made me realise that I did not take leadership over my own life and career as much as I should. For me, the key-take-away in the area of personal leadership is the following: taking leadership over your own life and career is one of the most difficult things a student can do, yet those who do will succeed.

Regarding the international case competitions, both the growth on professional and personal levels learned by experience came from actual case competitions. This experience cannot be gained elsewhere and makes this minor so special!  

I learned a lot from my teammates who had different study backgrounds and were honest when I needed to improve on something. This helped me to grow, for instance, I had the tendency to be insecure about my work and often asked unnecessary questions in stressful moments. They just straight-up said, “that’s is a question you can answer yourself, I trust you”. It was tough to adjust in the beginning, but it helped me a lot in becoming more independent and confident. 

Personally, I participated in a competition that started at 2 am and was case solving until 2 pm. Together with my team, we worked very hard in advance of the UTSGCC to become the best team. Due to our preparation, practising prior to the case and unusual time schedule, we were fairly tired already. Therefore, we needed to motivate and build on each other to get going and strive for the best results. It is in these moments (when it’s really challenging) that you get to know yourself very well. I personally learned that I am capable of much more than firstly anticipated. Further, I learned to become more independent and better handle the pressure as my team and I practised many cases in advance of the competition. This helped me to relax more in my daily life now! By working so hard towards a common goal, I really created a bond with the other team members!

The most important lessons that I learned besides the knowledge gained over the course are: to take self-leadership, I can do much more than my mind tells me, do not always take everything super serious and be more confident about your deliverables/capabilities. 

I would like to close off by highly recommending to participate in a case competition. It is an experience that cannot be replaced by something else. It might be a way to discover the interest in case solving & consulting. Furthermore, it will uncover things you did not know about yourself yet and either or highlight habits of yourself that you always tended to ignore before! On the other hand, it might also be a discovery of disliking case solving. In that situation, it is still the experience and growth that makes it undoubtedly worth it! As you are on the website of the RCC, you do have the opportunity to apply for one. Why don’t you take the shot and see what that week can bring for you?

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