Student’s Insights: How to Win a Case Competition

Fritzi Mueller is sharing her experience with her first business case. Being a student of the tri-continental Master in Global Supply Chain Management (TriCon), she is studying together with five different nationalities. Travelling from Germany to China and to the US makes the 2-year program both special and intense. As part of the program, Fritzi Mueller, participated voluntarily in 2020’s SCAN Health Virtual Business Case Competition focused on Cyber Hygiene and Security in Health Systems.

Report by Fritzi Mueller

My team and I acted as consultants and advised a large health system on the development of a cybersecurity strategy that is inclusive of the supply chain. An experience with ups and downs that has awakened my competitive spirit in an academic sense. Working on a Business Case: Long hours, getting little sleep and a lot of fast food. What’s my recipe all about?

1. Motivation

Besides making an impact at KLU, my motivation was spurred by the goal of working as a Supply Chain Consulting after my graduation. Experiencing how to solve a real-life problem under time-pressure and experiencing a high-learning curve was very important to me. I have worked in in the pharmaceutical industry before and wanted to widen my horizon within this very complex and often live-saving field. Also, competing and seeing how our solution stacks up to other teams in a real-world example motivated me to participate.

2. Great team

Our team was called “EurAsiUs“. Why? I chose to work together with my friends and fellow-students Nargiz (Azerbaijan) and Nick (U.S.A.), thus, we were an intercultural team coming from three different continents. That’s also what made us as a group very competitive: We had fun working together, but also brought in different academic and cultural perspectives.

Towards the end of the second round, we actually were the second-runner ups in the competition, our meetings got longer, more intense and a lot of fast food got involved. Everybody was engaged and focused on his or her strengths. As a German, I am really orderly and therefore structured our ideas, made the time plans and the presentation. It was great to see what everyone could accomplish,  besides working on a case that seemed like a full-time job, completing our actual course-work. It was a lot of work but having a great team made things easier.

3. University support

Critical thinking becomes more and more important during a time of fake-news and social media. KLU has taught me to think out of the box and gives me the theoretical basis I need in order to transfer my knowledge to challenging issues like the creation of a cybersecurity strategy. Even though I haven’t really been in touch with this topic before, KLU has given me the tools to understand value creation in different settings. Our staff at KLU was also really helpful: Presenting our ideas to professors gave us new perspectives on how to tackle the challenging task that we have been given. Thanks to our campus facility team, we always had a quiet room to work or film in. This definitely made working together more relaxed.

4. Creativity

I had to learn that being innovative and presenting ideas in a creative manner is really crucial for the judges. After the feedback of the first round, my team and I talked to professor Meissner, a former consultant who gave us a valuable tip: A light-board presentation. I was then responsible to figure out how to organize such a presentation and how to clean such a device which by the way, is harder than it sounds. My team jokingly wants me to put professional light-board cleaner and movie editor on my CV, but that’s another story. Thanks to KLU, we had a professional camera, a dark room to film in and most importantly, a light-board. Three things that not every University has and I personally was surprised that first, light-boards exist and second, that KLU owns one

Another lesson-learned here is: Always have a plan B. The video equipment ended up not being compatible with our computers and we had to take my phone and tape it on a tripod.

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