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Dedication and determination: how the Corvinus team triumphed in Florida

2024-03-07 15:20:00

Our undergraduate students participated in a prestigious international case solving competition in Florida, where they won the bronze medal, being the only European team to reach the finale.
Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem

Our undergraduate students, Elion Consulting’s team, Bence Gál, Ákos Kormos, János Szappanos and Tekla Szilágyi represented our university at the Heavener International Case Solving Competition between 11th-17th February 2024.  

The students were selected and prepared for the competition by Miklós Kozma, Associate Professor of the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, after completing the Cases on International Business Strategy and other Case Track courses. He also helped them as their mentor during the competition. 

In the competition, the team had to solve two cases. Vertaeon LLC provided the first case provided the first case and the teams had 8 hours develop a solution focusing on an online marketing strategy and ESG analytics. In contrast, the second case required them to develop a strategy to achieve Primo Water’s zero emissions targets in 28 hours.  

“When we found out that one of the main questions in the case was what kind of truck the company should buy, I thought, “Well, everyone is starting with a clean slate, because we certainly haven’t researched this before.” said Ákos Kormos about the Primo Water case. 

The unusual format was a challenge for all the teams. Instead of the usual 10-15 minutes presentation and 10-minute question-and-answer (Q&A) session, the teams had 3-5 minutes to present their solution, followed by a roughly 20-minute Q&A session, therefore our students invested much more time in developing their interpersonal skills during the preparation. 

János Szappanos commented: 

Special format, special experience. The Florida competition tested all the teams with its unusual format and case questions, so applying the routines we had learnt was not enough to reach the final, we needed to convince the jury and dispel their doubts“.  

Bence Gál agreed:  

The Florida competition is the one where it’s not enough to have a professional solution – that’s just the entry-level – but you also had to learn a lot of new interpersonal skills.” 

Compared to the previous case competitions, we put more emphasis on the interpersonal elements and on getting to know what the jury is thinking behind the questions, in the short time we had.” – said Tekla Szilágyi about the preparation. 

But our team took on the challenges without much hesitation and with great success. Their preparedness, dedication and determination allowed them to win their divisional round, where they competed against top international universities, and secure their place in the final round of the competition, being the only European team to get promoted. 

I remember the moment when it was announced that we were in the final and Bence and Tekla were in tears of joy, and the organiser – Sean – admiring Bence’s will to win, gave him a hug,” said Ákos Kormos. 


In the finals, our students competed against the world’s most prestigious international business schools and ended the competition with a bronze medal.  

After a lot of judge personas and ‘gigantic’ Q&As, I think we managed to show our well-preparedness, even though finding the best truck was not part of our original plans.” – said Tekla Szilágyi about the team’s success. 

In addition to continuously improving their skills at case competitions, our students gain life-changing experiences, as they participate in several fun social activities in addition to the professional programmes. This was no different for the Florida competition, where our students could visit the Alpha-Delta-Pi house (a student community) and meet American students after the sessions and getting to know them better. 

For me, the case solving journey shaped me, and I was happy to finish with a bronze medal.” said Bence Gál, for whom the Florida competition was his last case competition as an undergraduate student. 

This is arguably the toughest undergraduate case competition in the USA, where we last achieved success seven years ago when the team I led won a gold medal. Because of our relative lack of success since then, I chose a radically different preparation strategy for this year’s team. This involved, in addition to the usual quality of content, three times more emphasis on interpersonal challenges and developing communication skills. Reaching the finals in an environment where English is the mother tongue, under these circumstances is a major achievement. Moreover, during the finals the team gave an excellent performance and came close to winning. The bronze medal is something that the team can be justly proud of, they listened to the guidance, gave their all and were able to rise above themselves in the final moments. Thank you to everyone on the team for their dedication that lead to this success!” – Miklós Kozma, the team’s coach and mentor, lifted the veil on the features of the competition and the preparation 

We would like to congratulate the team, their mentor, and thank the CIBS course instructors and members of the Corvinus Case Track Community for their contribution to the preparations of the team! 

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GEN.:2024.07.24. - 15:21:51