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Case competition success will take Lund students to Malaysia

Published: 2017-12-05

They won the Swedish finals - now the Lund team with four students from the School of Economics and Management will go to Malaysia to represent Sweden in the finals next year. The business challenges of the state-owned South Africa Post Office was on the agenda when students from Sweden’s best business schools competed in the national finals of the world's largest case competition.

Jesper Sundström, Lovisa Paulsson, Anna Wengle and Timothy Liljebrunn in the winning team celebrate the victory. Photo: Kennet Ruona

The Lund student team In Case of Consulting with the team members Timothy Liljebrunn, Jesper Sundström, Anna Wengle and Lovisa Paulsson recently won this year's edition of the national final of the KPMG International Case Competition (KICC). The winning team was able to resolve a case that focused on the business challenges of the state-owned South Africa Post Office and how these challenges should be considered without risking the trust of the company's various stakeholders.

The winners are delighted that the hard training has given a dividend and will now represent Sweden at the international finals in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in April 2018.

"Creating a good case work culture at the School of Economics and Management is something that I believe will help to improve the reputation of the school even more and create highly motivated students", Jesper Sundström concludes.

More casework requested in the education

The members of the winning team appreciate all the applicable learnings they have gained from the case work and they all wish that the case method would be integrated earlier in the general education of the school.

The KPMG International Case Competition (KICC) is one of the world's largest case competitions for university students in business and economics, and started in 1998 as a collaboration between the KPMG audit, tax and advisory firm and the student union of the School of Economics and Management, Lundaekonomerna. Even today, both the local and national finals are held together with Lundaekonomerna and the Lund University Case Academy headed by the teachers Ulf Ramberg, Ola Mattisson and Mats Urde.

"It's an amazing learning environment", says Ola Mattisson, who emphasizes the value of getting the practice into the classroom without compromising on academic values.

Builds self-confidence before the working life

Daniel Ivarsson from KPMG is one of the organizers of the KICC competition. Daniel believes that case work provides an opportunity to sharpen technical skills and present solutions to challenges in various projects, which is something most firms request today. Having worked with cases is also a competitive advantage when it comes to the firm’s recruiting, Daniel says.

"We look very positively at participation in case work at local and national level. We partially use case solutions in our recruitment process and it is obvious if the applicant has experience from previous case practice.”

Rickard Bäck, student manager at KPMG and co-organizer of the KICC competition agrees with the positive aspects of case work.

"It builds self-esteem when you are in similar situations, which is common on a daily basis in my working life," Rickard points out.

Martina Hörwing, Lundaekonomerna’s project manager for the KPMG International Case Competition 2017, thinks that the case method should be implemented in more courses and programmes and earlier than today.

Continuous learning and strategic thinking

“You are thrown into specific issues related to the working life. You learn to think strategically and understand what you will need to do in the workplace", says Martina Hörwing, who is pleased with this year's edition of the competition.

The judge of the competition, Mattias Paulsson, works as the CEO and partner for LYTICS, a company that works with artificial intelligence targeting the health care industry. Paulsson believes that both the case teaching at the School of Economics and Management and the case competition is of high quality.

"There is a learning throughout the case process and the process as well as the competition itself develops continuously. Competing teams get feedback from previous teams as well as the department’s teachers and knowledge is continuously forwarded, Mattias Paulsson says, who himself competed in case competitions during his student years, gained extensive learnings and experience and made long-term friendships.

Great way for companies to find new employees

The benefit of the casework is not only visible in prominent competition placements but also in increased employability. Mattias Paulsson says that after listening to one of the presentations during this year's case competition, he considered the possibility of hiring one of the presenting students.

“I could see the student in a role as junior product manager in our company. Solving and presenting cases in such a short time as done in the competition shows both technical and analytical skills and an ability to act”, Mattias says.

In other words, being a judge in case competitions is not only fun - but it also gives brilliant opportunities for employers to find tomorrow's talents.

More about the case method

The case teaching and learning method

Read more about the school's Case Academy

Interested in being a case competition judge? Read more

tips from the judge

“The more cases you've solved, the better you will be at calibrating business solutions."

Mattias Paulsson, judge for the KPMG International Case Competition and CEO and partner of LYTICS.