Competition is in the very DNA of human civilization. We fought with all rivals since our evolution to make our way through and become Superior. Though it was initially linked to our survival instinct, it has presently become one of the best possible practice to sharpen our skills in all walks of life.
A competition in its essence is the spirit of endeavour to achieve something, however, it has myriad connotations depending on the source or function it is associated to, like, business or corporate competitions, classroom competitions etc.
If we analyse the educational scenario around the world, almost every school engages in some or the other competitions. However, the competitions held across Business schools are different and very result oriented.
Business Simulation Games, Case Study competitions, Elevated Pitches, all of these are different types of b-school competitions which enrich the student experiences multiple folds. These competitions assist in treading one’s career path successfully and offer a series of benefits that can be categorised into 4 broad sections- Self Assessment, Exposure, Industry knowledge, Leadership. This article will elaborate on each section to get a clear picture.
Self-knowledge is the key to success for every individual. Often times we tend to get lost due to our knack for learning a plethora of things. However, it is a pointed focus on one thing that helps us excel.
“The sooner a founder gets realistic about the need to focus, the more likely the founder will be successful. And, I encourage startups to dream big but to focus small.”– by Eric Paley, a partner at Founder Collective. He led the fund’s investment in Uber which is now a 6.5 billion USD company.
All the powerful people in the world have relied on this trait and it can only come if we really understand about ourselves well. Self Assessment is a kind of SWOT analysis on ourselves. It can help us identify the things that we are good at, our passions and our weaknesses. Ideally, one should choose a career where passion converges with our strengths. Competition can prove to be a very successful tool in this regard. The more we participate, win and lose, the more confident and mature we become. It helps us to identify our strong points and our dexterity in certain areas where we score over others.
Why are school students in the remote areas less likely to be all over the news as compared to their counterparts in big cities? It is simply because of the Lack of Exposure. Competitions come with certain goodies and exposing students to better competitors is one among them.
Exposure is one thing that makes a student choose between two different b-schools and prioritize one. Business is a world of action and execution, where getting a proper exposure is directly linked to the career development of an individual.
According to Himanshi Dandona, Management Trainee at L’Oreal, “Participating and winning the Brandstorm was the most enriching and thrilling journey. The way the competition has been designed makes you feel like a real Brand Manager and not a student anymore. It makes you get involved with the brand culture, senior management and the consumers that prepare you for the role one would take-up in future.”
Corporate competitions like L’Oreal Brandstorm, Asian Paints CANVAS, The Ultimate Pitch by Reliance and others act as a melting pot of ideas and innovations. The mammoth exchange of knowledge that takes place during these engagements is enriching for a lifetime and eventually opens up the mind of the students to execute things in a holistic way.
These competitions have become big employer branding practices for well established corporate houses and are attended by industry who-whos. Thus, making one become a part of the larger network where good work and innovation is well received and rewarded.
Upgrades your Industry Knowledge
Corporate competitions happen over a longer period of time where the participants are put through a series of stints. Even the case studies in these competitions are live business problems and participants who put their heart and soul into it actually takes away the crown. These exposures to actual business scenarios provide students with a practical understanding of the theory learned in the classroom. The participants have corroborated the fact that competitions have enriched their industry knowledge and practical experience is way beyond the theory.
It helps a student with teamwork, working with variables, and the way every different company executes its business. This can be a very good opportunity to try and identify the industries, roles, domains that one is more comfortable in and naturally aces it. This will form a strong and reliable base for the future on which a successful career path can be built.
Prepares the Leader in You
“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” Ralph Nader
What makes the skill of leadership so special that every organisation actually are always looking out for a potential leader? Leadership is an acquired expertise. You can figure out how to lead others by looking at pioneers you appreciate, by following their illustrations and tuning in to their recommendation. And the end outcome is to bring out the leadership potentiality in others. A leader is a responsible person with a vision which other candidates with similar faculties and skill set lacks. A good leader has a capability to instil new values and be admired in return as a role model.
Every business school curriculum hones your fine skills to become a future leader, however, it is by participating in the business competition where one gets introduced to the top-level leaders from the business world, many of them who they have admired.
Corporate competitions provide students with ample opportunity to present their fresh ideas to the CxO level professionals and also get mentored by them. Competitions like HUL L.I.M.E, Aditya Birla Group Stratos, etc allow winners to get access to their respective leadership programmes which can prove to be a gamechanger in the lives of the budding professionals.
Competitions, in general, prepare one to aggressively pursue their educational and professional goals. In a more larger scope, even big companies engage in a healthy rivalry which is beneficial for the growth of the organisations as well as the employees. The benefits of participating in corporate competitions, in particular, can be harvested by the participants as cited above irrespective of the ultimate result. So keep up the competitive spirit to achieve what you think impossible now!