Interview with Konstantins Nikolajevs
Image and Personalia
- Name: Konstantins Nikolajevs
- Born (year): 1997
- Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration with a specialization in Shipping Management
Interview with Konstantins Nikolajevs
1. When were you an active case student at BI and at which campus?
As the 2022/2023 academic year began, I applied excitedly and became part of BI Case Teams at the Oslo Campus.
2. Why did you decide to join BI’s case activities?
As a double-degree student in my 3rd year, I was driven by several goals. Firstly, I aspired to familiarize myself with the Norwegian business environment, gaining profound insights and cultural aspects. Further, I sought to validate and strengthen the knowledge I had acquired throughout my academic and working experience, as well as experience a comprehensive understanding of the corporate world through the consulting method. Lastly, to broaden my global network by establishing meaningful connections that would not only provide future opportunities but also create lasting friendships.
At the Open Day event in September, I had a great opportunity to meet and talk to the project manager of BI Case Teams. After a positive and uplifting conversation, I firmly decided to apply as soon as possible.
3. What was the name of your case team and how did you find your teammates?
During the BI National Case Competition 2022 hosted in Stavanger, we rocked the name "Atlas", kind of reflecting a global spirit. In contrast, at the Central European Case Competition (CECC) 2023 in Budapest, the organizers bestowed every team with its unique alias, drawing inspiration from the historical narratives of an ancient Hungarian tribe or its revered leader. Our alias, "Kürtgyarmat," gave us a bit of a tongue-twisting workout initially. Thus, offering us an amusing introduction to the cultural heritage of Hungary, all the while ensuring the secure confidentiality of each team’s origin.
The arrangement of team composition was overseen by managers from BI Case Teams. I had an opportunity to engage with numerous people across the organization; occasionally resulting in crossings with previous teammates.
4. Did you have a specific role on your team?
I was mostly responsible for crafting our strategy, as well as making sure we delivered solutions in an organized way. While also fostering team cohesion and lifting our team spirit. Beyond that, I contributed to job planning and organizing supportive tools. Sometimes, I also took charge of doing research. It all varied based on the case and what we as a team were trying to achieve.
5. Which case competitions did you take part in?
Following the bootcamp in Oslo, our first debut was at BI National Case Competition in Stavanger, alongside various preparatory endeavours, such as OHF Case. The main event in my case competition journey was in Budapest - Central Europe Case Competition - where our team got the finals of the 24-hour case. As a part of my experience, I assisted as a buddy for international teams during BI International Case Competition.
6. What is your best memory from your case journey at BI?
I'd have to say that the entire case competition in Budapest stands out as my most cherished memory. A big shout-out to our incredible team's spirit - we found a cool balance between having fun and pressure while tackling cases, along with having a blast at the social events we shared. Ultimately, our hard work paid off as it brought us to the finals. I'd like to add a shout-out to our manager - her smile from the back rows and the energy she exposed fuelled our own enthusiasm. All in all, it's the big and small stuff – like our travels, dressing up in business attire, bonding with people from around the world, the magnificence of Budapest city etc. – that made memories we'll always treasure.
7. What are your top three takeaways from case training and competitions?
Team Power is a Key. What case training and competitions have shown me is that the team's harmony is incredibly crucial. It's not just about being super talented or experienced – it's about when the team syncs up and gets ready together. This combination empowers you to excel in facing challenges head-on. This approach led our team to the finals at CECC’23, even in the face of a truly demanding case.
Decent numbers behind a solution give a leeway when proposing. In the realm of corporate solutions, one must either adopt a straightforward approach or venture into a more unconventional way – accuracy is paramount, and errors should be minimized. In the case competitions, I've seen both sides of the coin. To address the problem, meticulous preparation and a deep understanding of the company dynamics are essential. Equally important, it is vital to provide well-defined financials for every proposed solution.
Broadening outlooks via global arrays. Case competitions serve as an excellent tool for validating your knowledge and pinpointing areas that need improvement. Likewise essential, case competitions provide an exclusive opportunity to connect with people from diverse parts of the world, enabling you to contrast viewpoints from a wide range of global perspectives.
8. What skills did you learn from participating in case which were relevant to your development/career and how?
Participating in case competitions has equipped me with a solid grasp of corporate demands, and an insight into the consulting domain. Notably, interactions with board members, combined with their feedback, played a pivotal role in delving further into specifics.
Additionally, my presentation skills evolved; while having a solid foundation in debates and public speaking, adopting a consulting-style approach that goes beyond conventional methods proved remarkably beneficial.
Without a doubt, the intense pressure of time constraints and the nuances of diverse industries mastered my problem-solving skills and strategic thinking. I've been introduced to numerous frameworks that can be employed to navigate challenges both in professional contexts and everyday scenarios. Lastly, the competitions served as a platform for refining networking skills, both on a local and global scale.
9. Do you have any advice to students who are curious about case?
I strongly recommend considering case competitions for those who are willing to invest additional time in individual and team preparations. It's an exclusive and prestigious chance to represent BI internationally and showcase your skills. Important to acknowledge that such an opportunity also entails a certain degree of responsibility.
Take a look at the archives from both BI and other institutions for the previous years to fully understand the essence of case competitions. Don't hesitate, even if you lack extensive experience. Instead, concentrate on your personality and well-defined motivations. If you have well-established skills or experience, then go on to detail how they bring about a positive impact on case teams.
Visit the BI Case Teams Instagram and check out the "CECC 2023" highlights to experience the vibe of our team's case competition in Budapest.