MBA Students Take on International Finance Competition in Milan
BY: Richard Norris (MBA 2019)
This year, SDA Bocconi School of Management hosted over 20 of the world’s top-ranked business schools in their fourth annual International Finance Competition in Milan, Italy. Each school can send only one team, so the RSM MBA competitions officer organized a group of diverse and well balanced members, with backgrounds ranging from the aviation industry to commercial architecture. The team consisted of Yuhua Qin, Oleksii Bidiak, Tomas Gonzalez, Himanshu Singh, and myself. Each member also represented a unique country, ranging from the Dominican Republic to Singapore, which is reflective of the diverse student body of the RSM MBA cohort.
The competition is composed of two parts. Part I consisted of the larger portion of the case, which is sent to each team digitally and it is completed and submitted before the competition. Part II was the time-critical portion, where teams were given an additional challenge to complete on the SDA Bocconi campus prior to presenting the final slide deck. After Part II was submitted, each team presented their solution to a panel of judges composed of representatives from companies like Bain, Edison, and UniCredit.
Our team received Part I of the case a few weeks before the competition. Careful analysis of the case revealed that we were to create not only a financial strategy but also a business development strategy. This posed a significant challenge to tackle in unison, so we split the tasks between the financial strategy and the business development strategy. The financial portion proved complex, but a few late nights over the coffee machine brought us to our proposed solution and a finished slide deck.
Having never been to Milan prior to the competition, I was instantly greeted by both the wonderful people and the unforgettable food in Italy. The night preceding the competition, SDA Bocconi hosted an enlightening business discussion about technological disruption and innovation in business, followed by a networking dinner. It was exciting to meet students from MBA programs in various European countries – there was even a school who flew their students from China to Italy, just for this event!
Day two of the competition brought on the pressure: our team was given our second challenge with only a few hours allotted to devise a solution before we presented our final slide deck. Thankfully, with enough coffee, we managed to finish it in due time and were ready to present our strategy to the panel of judges. Our team didn’t progress to the next round, but nonetheless we learned an incredible amount from this experience both in finance and of the topic presented in the case. It was an honour to have represented the Rotterdam School of Management at this global event and we highly recommend it to prospective MBA students.