IESE x Roland Berger 24 Hour Case Competition

We could not have asked for a better team or a better opportunity! It's already rare to find a team of people you can work well with, but some how we managed to find a team of people who never even made it feel like work. From the internal case competition, to EPS, to the Roland Berger competition in Barcelona last week, we have laughed and laughed and laughed. During our countless sleepless nights, instead of being frustrated and taking it out on one another, we took embarrassing photos of each other falling asleep at 4am with a mouse in hand.

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We have learned so much throughout this journey, and noticed a huge improvement from the first case, to the last. Thanks to our many mentors, especially professor Chris Doran, for dedicating their time to helping us improve, and for telling us like it is (in a question we will never forget: "Why is your strategy so... bland?"). It is because of the constant honest and constructive feedback that we were able to perform so well at IESE. No, we did not win, but we are very proud of our work. The amount of research and analysis we conducted guaranteed the answers to every single question during the Q&A, and we received quite positive feedback from Roland Berger regarding our strategy and solution. No one will ever know that at 4am in the above photo, 5 hours before the competition, we actually had no strategy at all. 

But how to compete in case competitions is not the only thing we learned, we also learned many valuable life lessons on this trip such as...

If a shoe shiner in Istanbul drops his brush, don't pick it up, because he will offer to shine your shoes as a thank you, and then charge you a fortune. 

 Kid and his swanky shiny shoes, Istanbul

Kid and his swanky shiny shoes, Istanbul

We also learned how to make paella and sangria (thanks to Roland Berger), but more importantly, we learned not to drink too much wine before dinner, or else you will not remember what the wristband you're wearing is for.

 Chef Takashi tasting the wine, Barcelona

Chef Takashi tasting the wine, Barcelona

We learned that selfies are important everywhere...

 Two lovely ladies outside the Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Two lovely ladies outside the Blue Mosque, Istanbul

... but it takes a real photographer to get the best shots!

 Kid the professional photographer, with a professional camera, and professional camera bag, Istanbul

Kid the professional photographer, with a professional camera, and professional camera bag, Istanbul

But the most important lesson of all: we can do anything as a team, and we look damn good doing it too.

 Team HKUST, Barcelona

Team HKUST, Barcelona

*For those of you who are wondering where photos of our Amsterdam trip are, please understand what happens in Amsterdam, stays in Amsterdam, thank you.