3 Lessons I Learned from Winning the Summer Intensive Case Competition

Wenqi Chu
Wenqi Chu

Wenqi (Nina) Chu is a current MS in Information Systems student in Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. She graduated with a bachelor degree in International Business from Soochow University, Taiwan in 2017 and had 6-month exchange study at Bond University. Wenqi had a diverse array of internships during her college time: as a salesperson in an E-Commerce company in Dalian; as a loan analyst in Bank of China; and as a financial planner in Prudential Limited, an insurance company, in Hong Kong.

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“The prizes for the winning team of the case competition for summer intensive are lunch with Jill Green, the Associate Dean for Student Development, and tickets to the Cirque Du Soleil show!” Hearing this, I thought everyone would have worked harder if these were announced in advance. And then Professor Thomas added, “The winner is … Team Jaguar. Congratulations!”

Yes, Xi Zhao, Haoran Pan, Yuesheng Zheng, and I are Team Jaguar. At first, my teammates and I had no clue about the virtual bus system case assigned to us as part of the Summer Intensive program at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. After two weeks of preparations, we could say we tried our best. Winning was great, but even better, having the chance to share these three key lessons from working on the case competition.

  1. Passion to win. I suppose the main thing that distinguished us from other teams was our determination. In the first group meeting, we reached a consensus that we wanted to win. At that time, we didn’t expect any prizes or honors but simply respected this competition and respected ourselves. With this strong willingness to win, we did a street interview to better learn people’s attitudes toward buses, stayed up late to discuss, and three of us stared at our presenter with cold faces and asked possible questions to help each other better prepare for the presentation.
  2. Four people’s wisdom outweighs one’s. When I talked to my friends in other teams, I found some of them only took charge of their own parts since time was limited. We also delegated work, but every day we shared difficulties of our parts and our thoughts to the others and then we searched data or resources together and put forward the solutions. So every part in our report included the wisdom of four people instead of one. It was normal that we had different opinions toward many issues, such as how to edit the video, which price model we should choose, and whether the report style should be fancy or professional. I am glad we voiced our opinions directly, so the discussions were efficient and effective. We also gave positive feedback to each other whenever we made even the slightest progress, so we weren’t bored and tired when discussing but energetic and satisfied.
  3. Presentations are not research papers. No matter how many formulas and resources are in your paper, the aim of the presentation is not to show how hard you worked; instead, it is to effectively convey ideas and convince audiences, especially in the business world. This time, we used the video as a hook, we designed imaginary situations to interact with audiences, and we cannily made our slides. We kept our audience’s attention and showed our analysis effectively.

I want to be a data analyst in the future. Data visualization is an essential topic in this field and communication skills are always among the list of skills in the job requirements. I have a better understanding of the importance of communicating after this case competition. After days or months of data collecting, data cleaning, and data analyzing, I need to explain my work to customers to help them make decisions. Only the part my audience can understand is meaningful.

On August 19th, the four members of Team Jaguar enjoyed together the Cirque du Soleil show. The theme was to establish an ecosystem and invite the audience to join. Performers flung their colorfully dressed bodies into the air and fell in amazing formations to imitate fleas. Some used the trampoline to pretend they were crickets and able to walk straight up walls. We were surprised by the performers’ flexible figures, extraordinary courage, and stable mind and were inspired by their creativity. The show was even more fun and satisfying as my teammates sat next to me; celebrating this time together.

Winning Team, Jaguar, at Cirque du Soleil

This is the start of our journey at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. I hope we all have even more memorable experiences from now on!

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