“Having fun” is one of the six pillars which underpin the Champions Trophy Case Competition, says Brendon Potter, the Business School’s Student Development and Engagement Manager. Fun – together with personal awareness, challenge, the bridge to business, social networks and service – combine to ensure that this competition is a transformative experience.
“ We try to recalibrate participants’ thinking from what’s good in their classroom to what’s good on the world stage,” Brendon says.
The prestigious Champions Trophy is part of a well-established international competition in which approximately 150 universities from around the world take part, including six from New Zealand. The University of Auckland team is supported with funding from individual and corporate donors through the University of Auckland Foundation.
During the latest Champions Trophy competition, 12 teams fought for the title over four days, putting all aspects of their business skills to the test. They were given just hours to solve real business problems for New Zealand companies – start-up Performance Lab Technologies, Vector, not-for-profit Able New Zealand, and Fonterra – and present their analyses to the judges. The University of Auckland team won the first two rounds in their division but missed out on making the final. A slick presentation on Fonterra’s growth strategy in Indonesia helped business students from the University of Florida to take home the trophy.
Brendon said the support from the business community was outstanding with more than 50 industry leaders – including chief executives, chief financial officers and senior partners – acting as judges and assisting with the competition.
“The position and prestige of the judges gives an indication of how highly the business community views the competition,” Brendon says.