As a second year Tourism Management student I have been trying to gain the most possible through my studies. But engaging in - and winning - the University Business Challenge has given me more than I could have ever imagined...
I could have never achieved it without my brother, Krisztian (an Accounting and Finance student at ARU) who was the best team member.
University Business Challenge (UBC) was an amazing opportunity and an extremely beneficial experience for both of us. We have learnt how to run a business, work as a team – even under pressure – and other valuable employability skills. The course you study is irrelevant as it helps everyone equally to learn and practise useful employability and entrepreneurial skills from day one.
When picking your team it is very important to consider all the different skills that each team member can bring. Just like a real company, you have to deal with market changes while you work on customer relationship and commercial awareness. Throughout the 'trading periods' the team has to work together in an analytical way to make decisions. Organisation and planning, as well as time management, is very important to be able to submit all your decisions on a weekly time period.
When we started it was just like in everyday life: our business has had its ups and downs and due to an unfortunate decision, we only finished second out of eight teams in the first round. We did not think we would go through to the semi-final, but days later we received a 'congratulations' email.
A couple of months later we were supposed to attend the semi-final at Royal Holloway University in London, but due to heavy snow it was cancelled. Instead they decided to do the semi-final online, and we won! In the semi- and grand-final the pressure is increasing and the time limit is decreasing. On those days the teams have to work very efficiently in a short period of time and to use innovative ideas to stand out.
A week later we were lucky enough to represent Anglia Ruskin University at the IBM headquarters in London. After a long day of pressure and exercises we were pleased to be announced as the overall winners.
I will never forget the feeling and the happiness that we felt at that time, especially because we led Anglia Ruskin to be the first university in the history of UBC to win three times. It is still hard to believe. Altogether it was an amazing event, as we put all the theory we learnt into practice and gained many new skills that will be useful for our future careers.
We would like to thank again Nicola Faulkner and the ARU Business School for all the support as well as UBC and IBM for the opportunity, experience and the many skills we gained.
By Cintia Papp
Cintia and Krisztian Papp holding their certificates: