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HEC to host international competition for grad students

First instalment a huge success.


HEC Montréal will soon host an international competition bringing together students from some of the world’s top business schools. Spring 2013 will mark the second instalment of the International Graduate Competition (or IGC), the result of a student initiative.

Last year, HEC Montréal students decided to organize the event, the only one of its kind for master’s students in management science. They wanted to create an event similar to those designed for undergraduate and MBA students.

The concept was relatively simple: Do a case study on an existing business and make your recommendations in the form of an oral presentation and a written report. Management workshops were offered at the start of the competition, which, being international, took place entirely in English.

It was a huge success. “Everyone found the experience to be enjoyable and enriching, although quite challenging,” said Ivana Gimeno, chair of the 2013 organizing committee. She is in her second year of a master’s degree in production and operations management, and sat on last year’s organizing committee.

Six universities from five countries took part in the very first such competition, which concluded with a decisive victory for the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business in Rochester, New York. The American team took top honours for both its presentation before the judges’ panel and its written report.

Other competitors stemmed from Aalto University (Finland), Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), Queensland University of Technology (Australia), Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, and, naturally, HEC Montréal.

Four of the six schools, including HEC, have earned triple accreditation, meaning that the quality of management education has been recognized by three of the most influential international business school accreditation associations, namely the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of Masters of Business Administration (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). These four schools are part of a select group made up of the 57 most prestigious business schools in the world.

About 20 invitations have already been sent out for this year’s competition, and Ms. Gimeno and her team are hoping to have eight schools take part. The delegates (four per school) will once again be given the opportunity to attend a series of management workshops. They will then have 48 hours to do their case study, prepare their presentation to the judges’ panel and draft their report – which is usually more than 50 pages long.

The format will be collaborative, since the delegates from all of the universities will first have to work together on various aspects of the study. They will then return to their respective teams to finalize the project. “We wanted it to be extremely cooperative. It’s not just a competition,” Ms. Gimeno explained. In fact, the organizing committee refers to the IGC as a “cooperative competition.”

The second annual IGC will take place from April 27 to May 3, 2013.

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