Interview with Jaweria Shehzad
Image and Personalia
- Name: Jaweria Shehzad
- Born (year): 2004
- Degree: Data Science for Business
Interview with Jaweria Shehzad
1. When were you an active case student at BI and at which campus?
I studied at BI in the academic year of 2022 at the Oslo campus, but I decided to switch to NTNU after a year as I had gotten into the degree, I had applied for the year prior and that was originally my first choice. I really enjoyed BI, especially case teams as I gained a lot of valuable experience and made some amazing memories throughout the entire year that I was a member. As I continue my journey at NTNU I hope to also continue my case journey if I am presented with the opportunity.
2. Why did you decide to join BI’s case activities?
I heard about BI Case Teams through their marketing channels, and it sounded interesting, but I decided to read up more about it on their website as I wasn’t sure what it entailed. I then understood that case teams had to do with consulting. One would work in a team to solve a given case from a company and then prepare a presentation that would have to be presented to judges, all within a limited time constraint. It sounded intriguing yet challenging. I was interested in putting my business knowledge to practice and improve my problem solving and presentation skills. So, I decided that the only way I was to truly learn more about the world of consulting was to apply for case and I’m glad I did!
3. What was the name of your case team and how did you find your teammates?
The names changed depending on the case and the competition. After 24 students from all BI’s campuses were recruited we had a boot camp where we all met in Oslo for a weekend and got to know one another. A weekend of course wasn’t enough, but we all got to work with one another for a few months before the national competition and it was beneficial. The best team I had was for the international competition in Budapest (CECC). We had a great team dynamic, as we all knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses and had great communication throughout the competition. It also really helped that we knew each other quite well from beforehand. I believe it was because of our great team dynamic that we ended up making it to the finals of the 24-hour case in the competition, bringing home a victory for BI.
4. Did you have a specific role on your team?
For the international competition I was less experienced than my other team members. None of us had done any international case competitions before but I was the only first year student on the team. As such, I took a more generic role in the team where I either helped out with the marketing, strategy or research portion; however, these areas tended to overlap so we would also tend to switch between these roles whereas the finance person would always stick to finance.
5. Which case competitions did you take part in?
I took part in two case competitions; the BI National Case Competition and then the international competition, which was the Central European Case Competition (CECC), which took place in Budapest, Hungary.
6. What is your best memory from your case journey at BI?
My best case team experience was definitely my international case competition that I attended in Budapest, Hungary and was the Central European case competition. Besides getting to travel to a country I had never visited before and getting to do tourism (for free as it was covered by the school!) the whole competition was a surreal experience. I got to meet, interact, and compete with brilliant minds from across the world. Something I didn’t realise before I joined BI Case Teams is that the social aspect is just as big as the academic aspect, which is a nice balance to have. And something that I gained from my international case experience was that I made some international friends (and expanded my LinkedIn network!). And besides the social experience the actual competition was beyond amazing. We got to do some really challenging cases and I had a great time working with my amazing team. It was really rewarding in the end when we got to the finals of the second case, which was the 24-hour case.
7. What are your top three takeaways from case training and competitions?
My first takeaway is that you should be prepared to get a question from the judges in the Q&A portion of your presentation that you might not have an exact answer to or that you may have not considered to be asked. The key is being able to formulate an answer that tells the judges that you did your research properly. One shouldn’t just simply say, “I don’t know”.
Another key takeaway I took from case is that you should focus more on your presentation than the solution, even though that seems contradictory. A somewhat ‘simple’ solution paired with a great presentation can beat a somewhat ‘great’ solution but a mediocre presentation. How you present your ideas is far more important than the actual idea. So sometimes simple is better.
My last takeaway is that case is a continuous learning curve. No one is perfect to begin with or perfect even with lots of experience, but you get better and build valuable skills along the way.
8. What skills did you learn from participating in case which were relevant to your development/career and how?
One very important skill I learnt but I still feel I could improve further is spontaneously coming up with good answers to unexpected questions from the judges. I also further developed my problem solving and research skills. In addition, time management is a big skill I developed, as we had to solve and present cases in a very limited time constraint. We had to plan our time very strategically for both the case solving period as well as the presentation time. I remember in my first case our team only got halfway through our presentation before we were cut off.
9. Do you have any advice to students who are curious about case?
If you want to be challenged and improve your problem solving and presentation skills, then BI Case Teams is for you. You need to be willing to put in the work by treating case as important as your studies instead of just an extracurricular activity. You should also be prepared to be surprised. Every single presentation I did throughout my case journey surprised me, whether it was the case itself, the solution we came up with or the questions the judges asked in the Q&A portion. Lastly, it’s important to realise that not everyone can win in a case competition. After all you are competing with the brightest students in top universities around the world and thus, not everyone can be a winner. But that doesn’t mean that your presentation or solution wasn’t good enough, it could simply mean that you were competing with some talented people. Instead take it as a lesson to improve for next time.