Interview with Jana Ondicova
Image and Personalia
- Name: Jana Ondicova
- Born (year): 2001
- Degree: BSc Data Science for Business, starting MSc Quantitative Finance
Interview with Jana Ondicova
1. When were you an active case student at BI and at which campus?
I was part of the case team throughout my entire Bachelor’s at campus Oslo (2020 – 2023).
2. Why did you decide to join BI’s case activities?
I have to admit that joining the case team wasn’t a very deliberate decision. As a new international student arriving in Oslo amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020, I was searching for things to do and wanted to meet as many new people as possible. I signed up for various activities, and one of them happened to be the case team. However, it turned out to be the best decision I made, and it became the only extracurricular activity I stayed committed to during my whole Bachelor’s.
3. What was the name of your case team and how did you find your teammates?
I was part of multiple teams, and all of them had unusual compositions. Two of the teams were cross-campus: Nova Consulting combining Oslo and Trondheim, and Silva Consulting combining Oslo and Stavanger campuses. Aurora Consulting consisted of both Bachelor and Master students as we were competing in the Munster Case Challenge, where Master students are allowed. Because of the odd nature of the teams, they were put together with Hilde’s help. Fortunately, the process wasn't daunting as I already knew all my teammates from training and workshops.
4. Did you have a specific role on your team?
My main contributions tended to be idea generation, devising the overall strategy and its implementation from the non-financial side (timeline, specifics, risks and mitigations). Additionally, I was responsible for the slide deck, which also meant sharing the screen and clicking through the slides in online presentations. I was in charge of the financials once or twice as well, but there was usually someone with a pure financial background who assumed that role.
5. Which case competitions did you take part in?
Most notable was ROCA 2023 as it finally allowed me to travel abroad and experience an international case competition in person. The already-mentioned Munster Case Challenge 2021 and the CBS Case competition 2021 I have sadly attended only virtually due to the pandemic.
6. What is your best memory from your case journey at BI?
Traveling to Rotterdam and some of the wins I’ve experienced are of course up there, but one less obvious moment stands out. In my last year of the Bachelors, after 3 years in the case team, I was helping out during a bootcamp for the new students. A case alumni was teaching them the fundamentals of case solving – the frameworks, concepts, how to think about it all, the overall point of what they will be doing, and the students were looking at him kind of confused, trying their hardest to follow and understand. For me it was a great overview of everything I have learned during my case journey and how I came from being the same overwhelmed 1st year student to now when all of this makes (more or less) sense to me.
7. What are your top three takeaways from case training and competitions?
- Teamwork is a cliché, but undeniably crucial. Working under pressure and time constraints with 3 other people you often don’t know very well is a huge learning opportunity. Managing everyone’s different personalities and trying to find your own place while also trying to solve a problem together is challenging but very relevant for professional life.
- Participating in case activities helped me contextualize what I learned in lectures. It allowed me to understand how various aspects like finance, strategy, marketing, HR etc. fit together to form the bigger picture.
- And lastly networking, meeting new people and making new friends and connections. This was particularly life-changing at the beginning of my case journey when I just moved to a new country in the middle of lockdowns.
8. What skills did you learn from participating in case which were relevant to your development/career and how?
The entire process of case solving has to be the main learning. Given that cases are now integral to recruitment, my experience from the case team gave me a head start when preparing for interviews. Additionally, I developed quick thinking and the ability to come up with ideas on the spot, as well as the confidence to present my solutions even when I felt they weren't perfect, which proved essential in both interviews and internships.
9. Do you have any advice to students who are curious about case?
I would say, “Just do it!”. Don't hesitate or be shy, go ahead and apply. There's nothing to lose, and you might end up having an incredible time and learning a lot. You don't need to convince your friends to join with you; you'll make new ones. You don't need to know a whole lot about consulting, finance, or strategy; you will get training and learn. So take the leap, be open to the experience, and be prepared to have a great time and gain valuable skills.