By Riccardo Ziglioli
Everything began a night of a month ago. I received a message from the IE Italy Club where it was written that there was an opportunity to participate in the upcoming business games of St. Gallen. At that time, I didn’t know what the term “business games” really consists about, but the name linked with “St. Gallen”
had something appealing about it. So, my flatmate Tim and I together decided to apply for it.
Three easy steps for the final selection. First, pass the CV screening test to ensure that we are students enrolled in a Masters programme. Second, select a partner for the business games. Third, pass the test. The test was aligned with the format of the GMAT exam. 30 questions that have to be answered in 30 minutes. “Fortunately” Tim and I were selected.
What did this business game really consist about? It was a two-and-a-half-day case competition that took place in the Einstein Congress Hotel, in St. Gallen.One hundred master students from universities all across Europe competed amongst each other to solve real-life case studies provided by big companies such as Nespresso, Swarovski, BMW Group, BDO and Zurich Insurance Group. Every competing team was mixed with other teams participating in order to form groups of 4 people each. Groups were changed for every different challenge.
The day for the business challenge had arrived. I was a bundle of energy, excitement and stress, all at the same time. Only 50 teams from all over Europe were participating – “the challenge should be very hard” I thought.We met at the St. Gallen University. After the motivating welcome speech delivered by the Dean of St. Gallen University, we were asked to face the first challenge, with BMW Group. It was a 2-hour challenge where we were asked to come up with a solution answering the following question: “What does BMWi need to stand for in 2030, in order to keep its competitive advantage, taking into consideration the dynamic and changing environment?”
After the challenge we all gathered for dinner. The seating was random, mixed tables and that is how we started to get to know each other better. Everyone had a very interesting story to share which reflected the great achievements behind them. The start couldn’t have been any more exciting: networking and enjoyment at the same time.
We discovered that among the participants, there were two other students from IE, Maximilian Paasch and Julien Somogyi. Two bright Master in Management students from the September 2015 intake. We instantly bonded and asked them to share with us tips to make our “MIM Experience” even more enriching.
The second day, Friday, started on a very challenging note. There were two main challenges of 4 hours each by Nespresso and Swarovski. Another shorter challenge (“just” 2 hours) by BDO. The “Einstein Saal” room of the Einstein Congress Hotel was full of detailed case analyses, creative and unique ideas, and innovative solutions.
Following are the question given to us for each challenge –Nespresso Challenge: “In 2016 Nespresso is celebrating is celebrating 25 of recycling aluminium capsules. Looking forward, over the next 5 years, what
would you do to encourage people to recycle Nespresso’s aluminium used capsules?”
Swarovski Challenge: “How to make a Jewelry concept so juicy that our consumers have to come back for more?”
BDO Challenge: “What does one have to look out for nowadays in branding? What are possible pitfalls? Show us what innovative ideas you have!”
Watch the experience here :