The road to representing SAMK for the NIBS 2018 case competition in Guatemala was a special journey for all of us. We started this journey half a year ago with a qualifying course and no expectations. We had just the goal of doing the best job we possibly could and see where it would take us. After about 6 weeks’ hard working and dedication we exceeded our expectations and qualified to represent SAMK.
We began the strenuous preparation for the RICC case competition taking place in the wonderfully diverse and modern city of Rotterdam in November. RICC provided us with a tremendous learning opportunity and gave us confidence in our abilities as we improved after each and every presentation.
Arriving at the airport, we were welcomed with warm hugs and smiles, which we were totally unfamiliar with coming from the Finnish culture, but which grew to enjoy throughout the week.
Despite leaving Rotterdam without a win we were convinced of our abilities to compete with top students around the world. After RICC we took home the valuable lessons learned during the competition and immediately began to train harder than ever to provide the best possible solutions to any case we might face in Guatemala.
The Guatemalan experience
Participating in NIBS in Guatemala was an entirely new experience, despite the similar procedures of both competitions. Arriving at the airport, we were welcomed with warm hugs and smiles, which we were totally unfamiliar with coming from the Finnish culture, but which grew to enjoy throughout the week. Everyone was incredibly cheerful, friendly and helpful whether it was during the official competition or just when we were hanging out.
The time difference was a hindrance, but it didn’t stop us from exploring the beautiful city of Guatemala during our first few days of arrival. With the assistance of our ambassador, we learned a lot about the cultures, the local food as well as the magnificent landscapes within the city. Hiking up the volcano and sliding down the soft sand was, definitely, an experience of a lifetime, which we wouldn’t have had the chance had it not been for NIBS and the amazing volunteers from Universidad del Istmo de Guatemala. Also, the busy nightlife of the city was very different than in Finland. It is really astonishing to see the streets full of customized buses, a unique feature of Guatemala.
The trip to NIBS has been the trip of a lifetime combining leisure and exploring with tough competition and learning. As much as we relaxed and enjoyed the incredible and breathtaking environment the first days, just as hard we worked during the competition. We went into every competition hungry for a win and just as great it felt when we on our 2nd day of competition finally got our first win over London South Bank University. 6 months of hard work culminating into one moment that none of us will ever forget.
The competition taught us to develop creative solutions to real business scenarios and present them in a convincing manner. Furthermore, the competition truly challenged our teamwork skills as well as tested our ability to perform under intense pressure. As NIBS vice president Robin Richie mentioned in his speech in the opening ceremony, the feeling of walking to the presentation rooms before presenting the solution is an unparalleled mix of emotions that words cannot describe. The walk is a feeling that all competitors will face during the competition and one that can only be fully understood by those who have experienced it.
Money can’t buy a trip like this where every feeling is felt
Money can’t buy a trip like this where every feeling is felt, limits are pushed, great work is a reward and learning comes faster than in any other place. All this while being in the scenery which mostly looked like a paradise.
Text by the team: Alex Dyer, Mathias Hansen, Thanh Nguyen & Karin Turunen