JIBS Team wins second place in global competition

On 11-14 January, the JIBS master's student team participated in the Family Enterprise Case Competition 2023 at the Grossman School of Business, University of Vermont, in Burlington, USA. The team consisted of students Celina Oberhauser, Irene Lixing, Larissa Blau, and Victoria Resch, coached by Assistant Professor Josh Hsueh.

This year marked the 10th annual competition and brought together 19 teams and more than 50 judges from 12 countries worldwide.

Competing against eight other teams in the graduate league, the team members did an incredible job representing Jönköping International Business School on the international stage. In addition to winning second place, team member Victoria Resch was recognized with the "Best Graduate Presenter" award.

We put some questions to the JIBS Master's student team about their experience...

JU: What was the set-up of the competition over the days?

JIBS Team: On Day 1, after we learned about our division and presentation order, we used our spare time to rehearse our presentation based on the pre-arrival case. After our presentation, we were allowed to observe teams in the other divisions, and everyone had dinner together. From Day 2 to Day 4, we would get the case in the morning and then have four hours in a closed room to finish analyzing it and prepare for the presentation. In the afternoon, we presented and observed the other teams. Later in the evening, there was always a dinner event held in different venues, such as the museum or a banquet dinner.

JU: What was the most challenging part?

JIBS Team: The last minutes of the four-hour preparation and the fifteen minutes before the presentation. We were really nervous as we didn't know what the judges expected of us. We had to concentrate on learning our presentation within a few minutes. As soon as we entered the room, it became easier, and we enjoyed presenting. Another challenging part of the event was Day 3, when the finalists were announced. Having come in first place on Days 1 and 2, we were a bit surprised that we ranked second on this day and so had to keep our motivation up and support each other in preparation for the final. This situation brought us together even more as a team and encouraged us to do our best the next day.

JU: Did you ever disagree with each other?

JIBS Team: One of our main success factors was great teamwork. After doing so many practice cases, our way of thinking and interacting was very aligned. Of course, we had some discussions during our four hours of case preparation, but we always found an agreement. Learning which conflicts are vital to discuss and when to step back and agree on a compromise is essential.

JU: What have you learned from this experience?

JIBS Team: This experience made us realize how much you can achieve as a team if you work together towards a shared goal and how much fun you can have doing so! Working efficiently under enormous time pressure is definitely a significant lesson we learnt. Solving complex problems within a limited time without external help can be intimidating at first. But with time, we learned to take a step back, breathe, and just get started. Another positive learning outcome is that we can now fluently perform a presentation that we only prepared shortly beforehand. Sharpening our presentation skills will surely help us in our future jobs.

Furthermore, we learned a lot about family businesses. This is the most common type of business worldwide and has its issues since family members and emotions are always a big factor in addition to the typical organizational topics. We are very happy and thankful to CeFEO for giving us the opportunity to represent JIBS in this prestigious case competition. We will never forget this incredible experience.