For students, when it comes to the job hunt, getting the job means executing a series of steps flawlessly.
Even in the later stages of one’s career, recruiting can be a gruelling multi-step process. The difficulty for students trying to land their first job is that it isn’t always easy to get a feel for what exactly the role entails or what a company can truly offer.
This can evidently make it near impossible to sell yourself in an interview. If you yourself are unsure about why you want the job or your reasons for applying to a certain company, how can you possibly convince your interviewer that you are the perfect fit?
The benefits of case competitions for students
As a third-year business student myself, the tactic that has best helped me has been my participation in case competitions. With the jobs that interest me (as a Marketing major), I have found that these competitions provide the most hands-on, realistic simulations of what it would be like to take on a specific role.
Unique networking opportunities
With these types of competitions, you also have the opportunity to meet and interact with various representatives from the company as you progress through the stages. This is a unique networking experience because you not only have the chance to meet these individuals, but you also have the opportunity to pick their brain regarding the work you have done on the case.
Going forward, this advice and feedback will make you a much stronger candidate.
I have personally participated in several different case competitions, but the most intense and valuable have been those with recruitment as their main purpose.
Prep for case study interview questions
If you are interested in a full-time career in business, then you are well aware of the case-style interview question. These types of questions are not specific to Marketing majors; the case question turns up in interviews in almost all disciplines of business.
If you hope to land an interview with the company running or sponsoring the competition, your participation is the absolute best insight when it comes to what types of case questions you can expect in the interview. If you can successfully execute solving the case as well as the presentation, the interview case question will be a total breeze.
Impressing the judges and winning a case competition boosts your confidence in your own abilities, which can help you present yourself better in an interview and during the recruitment process in general.
However, successful execution of a case competition doesn’t necessarily mean taking home the grand prize or even placing for that matter. As long as you’ve learned something from the experience that will help you going forward, then the endeavour was worthwhile.
Prove to employers that you are “top talent”
Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to have the chance to participate in one of these competitions and I landed a summer internship with the title sponsor. The case itself not only taught me so much about the industry from a technical standpoint, but it also gave me the chance to enhance all of the skills I need to perform my summer job to the very best of my abilities.
Hosting competitions like these really demonstrates to us as young recruits that the company is committed to finding the best talent. It would be unwise not to take advantage of obvious opportunities like these ones.
There is no denying that case competitions require an enormous time commitment and a lot of effort, but the potential benefits can be quite substantial. Regardless of the outcome, when it comes to case competitions, participation is definitely worthwhile.
After all, if you truly believe that you’re right for the job, this gives you a chance to prove it.
Have you ever participated in a case competition? Share your experience in the comments section below!
Photo credit: Mays Business School at Texas A&M University