Team off to virtual contest

Dr John Guthrie (left), Ben Taylor, Sanne Deen and Xavier English use teamwork to give Antonia...
Dr John Guthrie (left), Ben Taylor, Sanne Deen and Xavier English use teamwork to give Antonia Post a lift. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
A group of University of Otago students are Portugal-bound next month — but only in a virtual sense.

Business school students Sanne Deen (22), Xavier English (21), Antonia Post (23) and Ben Taylor (20) have been selected in the Team Universities of New Zealand team to represent New Zealand in the online FEP U.Porto international case competition, hosted by the University of Porto in Portugal.

They were the successors of an Otago-dominated New Zealand team that had been selected to compete in Budapest in April this year in an event disrupted by Covid-19.

Chef de mission Dr John Guthrie, who founded the undergraduate and postgraduate Otago case competitions in 2003, watched the students perform in national and international competitions hosted by the New Zealand Student Development Society last year and was impressed with their skills and motivation.

Case competitions involved teams of students being given a business situation and a time in which to come up with a solution to be presented to a judging panel. Increasingly, companies were using case analysis methods to select staff, Dr Guthrie said.

Ms Deen met Ms Post and Mr English last year in the SDS National Business Case competition league in Wellington. Later in the year, she and Ms Post took part in an international competition in Japan.

The trio started a club called Otago Case Consulting, which aimed to help students gain skills related to business case competitions. They met Mr Taylor through the club.

Mr English, who is in his final year of a commerce degree,said that he loved business case competitions
for the same reason he loved rugby, gaming and kick-boxing — "they’re fast-paced, competitive and requiring solving problems on the go."

FEP U.Porto ICC would be held via Zoom from November 17-21 and the teams would compete against 11 other international teams. They would have 34 hours to prepare and present their proposal online.


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