Written by Molly Strasser, International Business and Computer Science double major.
When was the last time you had the opportunity to go across the country to compete with other students at leading business schools? That is the exact opportunity that I, along with three other USD IB majors and minors received this semester when we represented USD in Northeastern’s CUIBE case competition (pronounced Q-bee). At this point you may be wondering, just like I was about 8 months ago, what does CUIBE stand for? CUIBE stands for Consortium of Undergraduate International Business Education.
Northeastern’s CUIBE case competition ran as follows: every school had a team of 4 students and there were 16 teams competing from across the country; every team received the same case study (yes, like the Harvard Business Review ones you use in class), and we were given 24 hours to come up with a solution to the challenge presented in the case and create a PowerPoint and 15 minute presentation. We then had from 10:00 pm the night when the case was due, to 7:45 am the next morning when we were required to check in at Northeastern to give our presentation, to sleep, eat, and practice our presentation. After giving your presentation to the ‘Board of Directors’ of the company the 4 finalists were announced and everyone was given the chance to go watch their presentations.
The experience was intense but very fulfilling. The team was able to work with leading professors in the Business School during our practice pre-competition. Having access to these professors in such an intimate environment was invaluable to my intellectual growth. Getting to know other high achieving and involved students in the International Business major and minor was also a great experience. Since the team was not limited to students of a particular year, our team consisted of a Junior Finance major, IB minor, two Senior IB majors, and myself, an IB, Computer Science double major. While the seniors had a passing knowledge of each other, none of us knew each other very well. By the end of the experience though we had all bonded over late nights, high pressure, and city exploration.
As the competition was all the way across the country we arrived the night before the welcome dinner and had essentially a whole day to explore Boston. We were also able to go out to dinner as just the team and Erin the night we arrived which was a great way to relax after a long day of traveling. The boys saw who could eat more of their huge seafood plates, and the rest of us just enjoyed the delicious Italian food. We got to watch game 7 of the World Series in the presence of non-Giants fans, a first in my life. It got a tad awkward being the only ones to be screaming yes when everyone else was groaning. Since it was October, Boston was the perfect picture of fall and (thankfully) wasn’t too cold. Basically perfect touring weather, and a nice break from San Diego’s reliable warmth and sun. All the teams from the East Coast were envious of all the West Coast schools and their weather.
Getting to meet students from other schools around the country was another highlight of the competition. While we were all competing with each other that was a quick 24 hours of work and before and after that everyone was able to socialize. Hearing about other’s experiences at school and just getting to meet others with similar interests made the whole competition that much more fun. After the competition Northeastern arranged a closing dinner and activity at the Boston Tea Party museum. We got a tour of a replication boat as well as a reenactment of the events on that historic night. The dinner was fabulous and after all the students went out together, overall a perfect ending to the trip.