A group of MSc students from the Business School won first prize in three categories in the Solvay Business Game, the largest business game in Europe.
Sebastian Shahbakhti and Christian Dethlefs from MSc Management, and Ron Fishman from MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering, won in the Marketing, Negotiation and Pitch challenges. The competition was made up of a total of six challenges which tested competitors’ acumen across different business disciplines.
Sebastian, Christian and Ron competed against 1,600 other students from business schools across Europe in the first round to secure their places in the two-day challenge in Brussels. Contestants were then placed into 200 randomly selected teams and collaborated with the 400 remaining representatives from other business schools.
“Entering the Solvay Business Game was a great opportunity. We found that applying specific learnings from our Accounting and Finance courses at the School to real-life cases in the challenge definitely played to our advantage,” Sebastian said.
For the Marketing Challenge, teams had two hours to prepare a new marketing strategy that would increase the sales of a Unilever product in the Belgian market and present it to Unilever. The Negotiation Challenge involved assessing a company and determining the ideal price at which the team is willing to sell, or buy the company. The Pitch Challenge saw the students solve a problem and present their case to a judging panel made from management consulting firm McKinsey. These challenges demonstrated participants’ ability to work in teams, be creative and pitch their cases to representatives of multinationals.
“We wanted to see how we could compete against others in a competitive environment. It was fun, inspiring and demanding. There were chances to network with other students and representatives of the event partners,” Christian said. Describing it as a truly rewarding experience’, Christian said, “we would encourage others at Imperial College Business School to participate in next year’s competition.”
The Solvay Business Game’s 8th annual event attracted students from 52 universities. The competition was started by students from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management in 2007, and the organisers’ goal remains to ‘reveal and develop individuals capable of making a difference in business, now and in the future’.