The EDHEC Global MBA Hackathon 2024
Action-learning at its best
The annual Global MBA Hackathon is the flagship career event during the 10-month Global MBA journey at EDHEC. Organised on the stunning Paris campus, the full day competition allows students to apply everything they have learned during the first term to real-life business projects, under pressure and in diverse groups. Furthermore, it is an opportunity to showcase skills to potential future employers in an authentic way beyond a mere CV.
Stimulating business cases and top-level participants
This year’s event featured 8 companies from various industries, including startups and Fortune 500s: Capgemini Invent, Best Western Hotel Group, AXA Investment Managers, Bristol Myers Squibb, Michelin, delaware (business & digital transformation), ServiceNow (AI & automation), and AML Factory (anti-money laundering fintech).
From using ChatGPT-like models to search information within non-structured data and documentary databases to maximizing the benefits and minimizing the downsides of a flex office or building lead generation and direct-to-consumer (D2C) relationship strategies – the subjects were challenging, and the deadlines were tight!
Finding innovative solutions and respecting tight deadlines
After an initial briefing by the company representatives, the MBAs worked in teams of 5 on finding solutions to different business challenges (2 teams per case). The companies then chose the most suitable solution before both teams merged to work on the selected solution before a final pitching session to choose the best proposal among the different subjects.
Discovering talent and getting fresh perspectives
“For companies, the Hackathon is a good opportunity to meet future talent in action, see how they perform in teams and under pressure, things they’d normally only find out during long and expensive hiring processes.” explained Spencer Hamilton, Head of MBA Careers & Corporate Services. Furthermore, it allows them to gain new perspectives and solutions to some of their business challenges, having a whole team working on their case during a whole day. “Some companies were so impressed with previous results, that they came back this year with a different business case” he added.
Showcasing skills under pressure – networking beyond a CV
The final was very tight! The MBAs had given it their all, supported by the company representatives who were at hand to answer questions throughout the day. Between brainstorming, analysing, fine-tuning ideas and coming up with a solution neatly presented to the audience, the day went by in the blink of an eye.
The strategic proposals presented by the different groups as solutions to the varied business challenges were all impressive despite the fact that they each had only 7 minutes to explain their plan to the audience. An expert panel comprised of Kymberli Stewart, Nouhad A. Malak,MBA, and Vincent Perrin gave impartial and invaluable feedback on all presentations. Final winners were Densy Cristina ARANA VASQUEZ, Adriana ESPINOSA LE DUC, Amir JABBARI HAGH, Nicole Lynn PETERSON, Jeevraj Singh CHOWDHARY, Ekaterina DOLGOPOLOVA, Kevin John KIRSCH, Anunya AKUNPANITCHAROEN and Yi TANG who developed a communication strategy for Best Western's Sure Hotel brand to increase brand awareness within a limited budget.
“The Hackathon is a great opportunity to showcase our skills to companies but also to prove to ourselves what we are capable of in such a short time and under pressure. It is a real team success highlighting the different skills we bring to the table thanks to our diverse professional backgrounds.” said Adriana Espinosa Le Duc from team Best Western Hotels.
Success as a team
The Hackathon is a good way to test intercultural leadership skills and to learn how to channel different points of view into one final solution.
“It’s very exciting to be able to bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to business challenges that companies will then be able to implement. Events like the Hackathon are incredibly enriching as they make us grow professionally but also as MBA students within our different teams because of the new skills we can directly apply, the things we learn about ourselves and our team during a full day consulting case and the professional networking opportunities. We have put a lot of hard work into our pitch, provided a lot of great ideas, so winning was really rewarding, very gratifying to see our ideas come together and get this result.” said Adriana.
The day concluded with an awards ceremony, a fireside chat with a high-profile panel on the risks and opportunities of AI for different industries, and a well-deserved networking cocktail with EDHEC alumni and industry leaders.
Will you be part of the next MBA cohort?
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