Connecting the business world – virtually
Case competitions were first introduced into interviews by management consulting firms and they are now used by many employers to help candidates identify and develop the best solutions to a business case study within a set timeframe. Case study questions are used to test candidates' analytical skills, creativity and problem solving ability. They are also used to test candidates understanding of basic commercial principles with challenge typically made up of teams of two or more people.
Such competitions will take place over several hours or a few days, with teams from one school set against others in the same location before a panel of industry judges. Case study games can also be used to give candidates a sense of the type of work they will be doing at a firm with case study exercises can linked in with group exercises.The Morningstar Global Case Challenge is different in several ways.
The competition involves students from the International Masters in Management Association (IMMA), a consortium of global business schools from Europe and North America who offer Masters in Management (MiM) programmes.
Unlike most competitions conducted over a short period of time in one place, the Morningstar Challenge takes place over ten weeks in a virtual environment. Teams do not represent a single school and are instead made up of students from different IMMA member schools. Team members never meet face-to-face until they make it to the final round. Managing time zone, cultural, and working style differences, the contestants had to work as a 'virtual team'to provide solutions to a real problem, in this case the disruptive impact of technology on Morningstar, a Chicago-based global investment research firm. During the 10 weeks, contestants received training and support from Morningstar and mentorship from Faculty members.
“It’s great, realistic preparation, teaching students to know what to expect in the workplace,” says Wenyan Zhang, a MiM student at London Business School. The first ever Morningstar Global Case Challenge finals were held in London this past May. Wenyan and her team, composed of Alexander Hamacher of IE Business School and Brett Sleyster of Kellogg Business School, were awarded 2nd runner up status, with the Morningstar judges extremely impressed with their performance.