For the business school kids, case competitions are something you’d hear about plenty often. Some of you might have been volunteered to enter them, or joined them willingly to gain experience and to add to your resumes. Not to mention, the returns for winning are immense.
For the non-business kids, however, case competitions might draw an enormous question mark. What are case competitions and why do the business kids seem to like them so much?
Basically, case competitions are team competitions, where groups across the country (or even the world!) come together to innovate and develop real-world solutions for business case studies—all within a stipulated time frame. The draw comes not just from the experience gained but also the prestige and of course, the prizes: some case competitions include scholarship awards, seed funding, or internship interviews, just to name a few!
There are case competitions open to non-business students, so why not give one a try before you graduate? Here’s a list of case competitions, Singapore and international, that you can consider!
The NUS Case Competition is an annual affair that started in 2009, with past winners including schools such as Queen’s University (Canada) and Chualongkorn University (Thailand). More than 200 teams take part each year, coming together to pore over and tackle Asian case studies.
Scale: Has both national and international rounds running in parallel. The national round consists of prelims, semi-finals and finals. The format of the international round is only revealed when all the teams are ready to start.
When: Held around Aug-Sept
Who can enter: Undergraduates of any major/discipline. Team members can be cross-faculty/cross-institution. See here for more details.
Past prizes include: Cash awards, potential internship opportunities with case competition sponsors
One of the big Four auditors and most well-recognised auditory, tax, and advisory corporations, KPMG has held their International Case Competition (now called the KPMG Innovation and Collaboration Challenge) since 2004 and attracts over 20,000 students from around the world yearly. Participants take on real-world business scenarios similar to the ones KPMG teams handle and present their solutions to a panel of highly experienced KPMG professionals. Each round has an extremely short time frame of 3 hours, so don’t make a mistake in thinking that this is an easy win!
Scale: National and international rounds. Winners of national rounds will go on to compete in the international rounds (2019’s will be held in Argentina), with expenses fully-paid for.
Who can enter: Undergraduates enrolled in a full-time degree programme with at least 1 year of study remaining. Postgrad masters students are also welcome (excluding traditional MBA students that have prior work experience). Teams must be of mixed gender.
Past prizes include: Cash prizes, conditional internship offers
A new case competition with its inaugural round held in 2018, the Oliver Wyman Case Challenge is jointly organized by Cognitare and Oliver Wyman (Singapore) and supported by Singapore Management University. It targets those keen on a career in strategic consulting and participants are given 55 hours to crack the case study in the preliminary round.
Scale: National (Qualifying round, semi-finals and finals)
When: January to February
Who can enter: Undergraduates from Singapore Management University, National University of Singapore, National Technological University or Yale-NUS College. Team members need not be from the same school.
Past prizes include: internship/consultant interview opportunities with Oliver Wyman, a leading global management consulting firm
Hosted by the Asia Private Equity Club at Singapore Management University (APECS in collaboration with the Chartered Alternative Investment Association (CAIA),), the APECS Leveraged Buyout Case Competition focuses on private equity and promises a chance to network with industry professionals and overseas peers. More than 25 teams across Asia took part in 2018’s edition.
Who can enter: All undergraduate and postgraduate students from Universities across the world
Past prizes include: Cash prizes, trophies, scholarships
Organized annually by the Academy of Asian Business (AAB), the World Asian Case Competition asks participants to analyse, write-up on, and present a case study on a chosen Asian company/corporation and how it became successful. Singaporean teams have entered the top 10 in the competition, examples being a team from NTU that presented on Love, Bonito (2018) and another team from NTU that presented on Didi Chuxing (China’s equivalent of Grab and Uber).
When: April to August (final presentation)
Who can enter: University students in teams of 2-3
Past prizes include: Trophies, scholarship cash prize, a scholarship award package which includes a company visit to a chosen company of your choice.
The John Molson International Undergraduate Case Competition (JMUCC) is a week-long multi-round case competition that takes place annually in Montreal, Canada. In between case rounds are what the organizers dub “unique social events inspired by the city itself”! The competition is actually organized by students from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University and promises networking opportunities as well as the chance to do case studies on both Canadian and international companies. Singaporean universities that have participated include the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Scale: International (involves 4 live business cases)
Who can enter: JMUCC selects 24 of the world’s best business schools to take part, which then send a team of 4.
Past prizes include: Information not readily available online. Do check with the organizers.
First organized by Nanyang Technological University and Business Solutions (an NTU Club) in 2009, the Singapore Business Case Competition is Singapore’s biggest local case competition! The competition focuses on the themes of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, with over 100 teams participating annually. One of the benefits of participation in the competition includes networking opportunities and chances to attend corporate talks.
Who can enter: Teams of 3-4, open to undergrad students from any faculty
Past prizes include: Cash prizes
Any other notable competitions that we’ve missed? Let us know! We’d love to expand our list. We wish all those keen on participating the best of luck — you’ll need it when you’re going against the brightest minds for sure!
Do you have experience participating in a case competition? We (and your juniors) would love to hear from you! Drop us a comment below and share your wisdom, or contribute an article!