Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

POLIS Team enter IBM Universities Business Challenge

21 November 2007 |

POLIS Team enter IBM Universities Business Challenge

A team comprised of POLIS students has entered the IBM Universities Business Challenge organised by the Work Placement Centre.

Article written by Patrick Toolan, BA Political Studies

It comes in the flood of emails from the University's Careers Centre, a short blurb about a team-based business challenge that pits your wits against those of others students comprising over 250 teams from around the UK. Over the course of eight weeks we're going to be competing against seven other teams in our individual grouping. If we succeed in staying within the top two, the challenge progresses to a series of one-day events around the UK, then a grand final. As a team wholly comprised of POLIS students we haven't come into the challenge expecting anything. I think I speak for all of us in acknowledging that there is a lot we don't know about business and a lot we can learn. What's excellent about this sort of experience however, is that we can make all the worst sort of mistakes you'd never want to commit in real life, with no financial consequences whatsoever. The business we run is simulated and so our errors and successes, in the end don't end up costing the earth.

The competition hosts a wide range of participants. The teams in our grouping come from Imperial College Business School and University of Wales Bangor to the University of York. Leeds University have four teams in the competition this year but none of us are currently competing against one another. The Work Placement Centre, situated within the Careers Centre, pays a fee to the Challenge's organisers for each team taking part and the support provided by them in the starting weeks has been excellent. A major part of competing in a challenge like this is the primary stage of getting a team together. It's surprisingly difficult to create a team, so sounding out friends or other students who are interested and can really commit the time necessary is the first hurdle.

If you get the chance next year, I'd highly recommend looking into whether you can take part. If you spot the email and remember these words, I would advise thinking about taking part. Nobody can ever know too much about business, and coming from a Political Science background, must of us can admit to knowing very little. But you learn along the way and that is, by far, the most interesting reward. We'll provide an update later in the term of our, with any luck, great success.

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