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GSB International Office and the Career Center held the first international case championship of the Graduate School of Business. The business-case was designed for the event by GSB corporate partner IKEA, setting a task to generate and present a cost-efficient solution, which would allow the company to transfer the whole last-mile delivery fleet to electric cars by 2025 without affecting service quality. The complexity of the case, which the students had to crack, was due to the fact that currently electric cars are more expensive than diesel cars, their production in Russia is extremely limited, and they are not equipped to work in temperatures below 15C degrees. This objective is part of IKEA's Circular & Climate Positive program, one of its priorities in sustainable development. While introducing the students into the case and speaking about the importance of the task, Liana Lukashuk, IKEA’s Customer Fulfilment Sourcing Manager, noted that in order to "keep the planet green, nice and cozy for our grandchildren, we have to start acting now”. In her welcoming speech to the championship participants, Ekaterina Somova, IKEA’s Country Customer Fulfilment Manager, expressed her belief that the championship participants' ideas "will take the sustainability agenda to the next level" and that "together we will succeed in creating a better everyday life for many people."
The teams from the IAE Gustave Eiffel School of Management - Université Paris Est Créteil (France), University of Munster (Germany), Pecs University (Hungary), two teams from Vienna University of Economics and Business (Austria) and five teams from the Higher School of Economics (Russia) presented their solutions to the judges.
The jury was composed of representatives of international companies, Alexander Pachkov, IBM Academic Initiative Program Manager, and Elena Adamchik, Group HR Director GroupM. Their work was coordinated by representatives of IKEA Liana Lukashchuk and Ekaterina Somova. The judges appreciated the quality of the presentations, and spoke highly of the depth of the teams’ analysis of the case and the innovative approaches to the proposed solutions. As a result, the jury awarded the first place to the team of the Vienna University of Economics and Business, the second place to the team of the Higher School of Economics HSE and the third place to the team of the University of Pecs. Students from Munster University received the kudos.
opportunities their respective companies had to offer to the students. Alexander Pachkov, IBM Academic Initiative Program Manager talked about the IBM Academic Initiative program, where students can develop their competences with the help of IBM tools and products free of charge for educational purposes and non-commercial research, he also invited the participants interested in development of solutions against climate change to take part in the Call for Code competition. Elena Adamchik, Group HR Director GroupM, the leading international media group, told about the internships and job openings in different agencies of the group, where the students could get experience in working with real digital projects of leading international and Russian brands.
As the main prize, IKEA offered the winners the chance to visit IKEA’s distribution center in Solnechnogorsk, the largest center in Europe, and an internship in one of the three projects proposed by IKEA. Ekaterina Somova held an additional meeting with the winners and participants of the championship to present the projects and discuss the terms and format of the internship in the company departments.
The International Office presented the winners with sweatshirts, T-shirts and shopping bags with printed GSB logo.
I personally really liked this championship, it was very interesting to propose real-life solutions to a real company and listen to its opinion on how it could be implemented. I especially liked listening to absolutely different solutions of the same case, looking at the presentations of students from different universities and cities from around the world and understanding their unique approach to the problem. When the next time, a company designs a real case and representatives of other cities and countries come to compete at the championship, I strongly recommend to take part in this unique event.
Thank you very much for the organization! In my opinion, the quality of the organization of the event was very cool. I am glad that I was able to take part)