Interview with Nika Rafat
Image and Personalia
- Name: Nika Rafat
- Born (year): 1998
- Degree: Sivøk - will start MCs this fall
Interview with Nika Rafat
1. When were you an active case student at BI and at which campus?
I was active from fall 2019 to spring 2022.
2. Why did you decide to join BI’s case activities?
It seemed like an excellent opportunity to learn and get a better understanding of how to solve real-life problems. There were so many benefits; you got great one-to-one coaching, you would be able to practice holding presentations in a safe space (something you don´t really get to do during your bachelor's), and get great feedback from both experienced case alumni as well as teachers.
3. What was the name of your case team and how did you find your teammates?
I had several teams. The two first teams I started myself, the third BI had put together for BIICC, and for the last one I was approached by an already formed team.
4. Did you have a specific role on your team?
No, I think the beauty of BI case is that you get to take on different roles and try out different things. This is of course very individual, I experienced on some of the teams I was on that the same person was always taking on the finances and had a more numbers-oriented role. Towards the end, I took up more of a “leader role” as I had more experience with cases than my teammates and helped out with all the parts. I think one of the most important aspects of forming a great team is communication, everyone should know a little bit about everything so that your solution for example doesn´t contradict with things you have found during the research of the company.
5. Which case competitions did you take part in?
I completed twice in the Central European Case Competition (CECC) and once in BI International Case Competition (BIICC).
6. What is your best memory from your case journey at BI?
I think one of the great benefits of joining case is that you meet like-minded people who are hard-working from all over the world. In addition, having close contact with Hilde, Svein, and the rest of the team organizing case was wonderful as they created a safe space where you were allowed to do mistakes and welcomed constructive criticism.
7. What are your top three takeaways from case training and competitions?
- Don't be afraid of pitching ideas to your group even though you think they are stupid. Toward the end, we used something called “green light/red light”. During “green light” times we said all ideas we had (no matter how outrageous), during “red light” we tried to criticize all the ideas to the best of our abilities. This way we managed to scrap the ideas we saw unfit, build off of each other’s ideas, and find weak points we had to work harder on solving.
- Set a concrete time frame and stick to it during practice cases. Once you are in a competition you will have to adhere to concrete times. Practicing how long you have for each time is a great way of understanding how you will be limited in a competition setting and might motivate you to work more structured and efficiently.
- Learn how to build and use templates early! This saves so much time and you will understand better how to structure your presentation.
- Have fun and learn as much as you can!
8. What skills did you learn from participating in case which were relevant to your development/career and how?
I think the more cases you do, the better you get. The learning curve is steep and after a while, you learn to crack the code. I believe case is the best way to develop your problem-solving skills. Seeing a case text can be overwhelming, but after a little practice, you understand what they are actually asking for, how to extract the information you need, what is important for the company, and how to find creative and innovative solutions. In addition, you learn how to structure a good presentation (i learnt how to build and use a PowerPoint template for the first time), how to speak in a convincing manner, how to answer questions on the spot and so much more.
9. Do you have any advice to students who are curious about case?
I believe case is one of the best extracurricular activities you can participate in as a student if you want a challenge. You get to learn so much, both how to do problem-solving, working with teams you wouldn't otherwise work with, how to create and hold structured presentations etc. The things you learn in BI Case Teams can be applied to several parts of your life and has helped me both in my academic and professional journey. You get to travel and meet people from different parts of the world, test the knowledge you learn in the classroom and apply it to real-life scenarios.