Four AUT MBA students have recently returned from competing in the inaugural NZ MBA Case Competition, held in Dunedin. Teams of four MBA students from seven of the country's universities participated in the competition, with our team receiving a judge’s commendation for their strategy.
“The experience was both challenging and rewarding,” said Brad Monaghan, a member of the team.
“It was great opportunity to pull together and action the learnings from the AUT MBA journey. We had a great team around us and I believe we did ourselves and AUT proud with the result.”
The AUT team was selected from a pool of top MBA students, and went through a rigorous selection process, including a full weekend boot camp style workshop, which culminated in a mini-competition. Supported by Fiona Hurd, Senior Lecturer, the selected team - Selena Volodzskis, Brad Monaghan, Lawrence Storey, Michelle Goodsir and Luong Dao, then trained for a further four weeks, including high-performance teams training and a ‘dragons den’ style presentation to MBA alumni judges.
“The training programme was intensive, and was exactly what was needed to prepare us for competition day,” said Selena. “The process stretched me and equipped me with skills that I may not have been exposed to in my usual career - I found the experience highly enjoyable and valuable.”
The competition, held at Otago Business School, involved the team analysing the case of 999 Farms, an association of beef farms, looking to disrupt the NZ Beef industry. In four hours, the team had to analyse the company, and formulate a strategy to achieve these ambitious goals.
The team’s strategy, based on moving towards more sustainable forms of protein, was commended by the judges for its innovation and creativity.
Reflecting back, the team felt the process was invaluable to bringing the content and skills learned during their MBA study together to focus on application to real business situations.
Michelle found the experience provided personal and professional growth, “I had the opportunity to deepen my understanding of how I function, what I fear, and knowing what I am good at. Being a part of something like this you very quickly learn, it's not about individuality, rather it is a collective achievement.”
Luong Dao agreed, adding, “The experience enhanced my ability in applying business frameworks for solving real business problems. It was a great learning experience and I came away with better technical, communication, presentation, analysis, and soft skills.”
“Selena, Brad, Lawrence, Michelle, and Luong were great ambassadors for the AUT Business School, and we can be proud of their achievements,” said Ken Lee, Director – MBA and Professional Masters.