Mathias Bohn, Rodrigo Garcia, Marlène Luce and Roman Zanoli recently won the Global Case Competition held at Harvard Business School. After meeting this year on the MSc Strategic Management at HEC Paris, they teamed up to assess the potential acquisition of Tesla by General Motors. Find out about their motivations for taking part in the competition and how it all played out!
We wanted to find an intellectual challenge that complemented our studies at HEC and learn more about the auto industry: given the focus of this year’s Global Case Competition, it seemed like an obvious activity to take part in. We saw this as a good opportunity to build up our financial knowledge, improve our presentation skills, discover the academic environment at Harvard University and make friends with other business students across the globe who would be competing alongside us. We were also drawn to the fact that the competition requires a deep and meticulous analysis of the selected topic within the space of three weeks, all the while having classes and exams, which allowed us to develop our time-management and research skills.
We were extremely happy to be selected as one of the top 10 teams invited to Harvard University to present the case and were highly impressed by the level of the other teams who made excellent recommendations. During networking events, we had the opportunity to meet inspiring people from all over the world, and after the competition the organizers invited us for brunch at the Harvard Club of Boston, which was a truly unique and privileged experience to be a part of.
We are over the moon about our victory: never did we expect to win against teams from schools like Oxford or Cornell, even less against teams made up of older, more experienced MBA students. We owe the strength of our team to the range of backgrounds within it: we come from four different countries (Denmark, France, Spain and Switzerland) and majored in four different disciplines during our undergraduate years (Business, Economics, Finance and Journalism). We think this multiculturalism and interdisciplinary knowledge allowed us to outperform other teams across the board and meet the requirements in every aspect of the competition. Our complementary skills allowed us to work efficiently, debate rationally and collaborate harmoniously, respecting each other’s opinions and following a well-defined work plan. We delivered a strong and dynamic presentation on the day, with a clear structure that showed how our thought-process led to our proposed solution. Not only did we provide thorough and substantial recommendations; we also had sharp and detailed analyses to back them up.
In light of our success, we hope to keep in touch as a team and collaborate on new projects in the future. As we are approaching the end of our studies, we are all excited about embarking on our respective careers and hope they will be as intellectually thrilling and enjoyable as the Global Case Competition as well as our curriculum at HEC Paris. We also hope we will continue to meet as many exciting and talented people as we did at Harvard and, most importantly, to one day be invited to as distinguished and elegant a gala as that which was held to celebrate the end of the Global Case Competition in Massachusetts!