IPADE Global Case Competition 2014, Another Perspective
February 20, 2014 -- Guest post by Christine Hou T'15 --
For the past several years, Tuck has sent two students from the snowy woods of Hanover to sunny Mexico City to participate in IPADE's Global Case Competition. This year was no different, and fellow student Eric Sparks and I were thrilled at the opportunity to represent Tuck at the annual event.
IPADE is a unique case competition where instead of sending ready-made teams, schools send a handful of students and the case teams are created on site. Schools are mixed and mingled for maximum diversity, and the resulting groups are required to work across cultural divides.
Upon arrival at IPADE's campus, we were given a tour of the grounds. Renovated from a historic hacienda, IPADE is a sprawling network of lush gardens, mint-condition classrooms, and cultural artifacts (they even had a moose head rivaling the one at the Norwich Inn!). Post tour, the teams were revealed immediately following a brief introduction from Deloitte Consulting and Novartis. Cocktails were then served as teams got to know each other, chatting about their respective schools and backgrounds. Afterwards the bus took us back to the Reforma Marquis where we took advantage of a peaceful night's rest before the weekend jumped into high gear.
Early the next morning, we shuffled back to the IPADE campus for a sit-down breakfast. Then it was time to get to work. The case was distributed, and each team got to work in their individual rooms. Every team worked through the entire day and far into the night. A brief Q&A session with Deloitte representatives and a light lunch punctuated the otherwise workaholic day. The 10 pm bus back to the hotel left relatively empty. The midnight bus back was jammed packed. My team ended up working until 3 am finalizing our presentation.
A few hours of sleep later, it was time to get up for the big day. Everyone groggily picked straws, and we presented 5th. The presentation went relatively smoothly, but the tough Q&A session afterwards left us uncertain of where we stood.
We were finally done with the hard work! To celebrate, the IPADE case competitors took us to a nearby cantina for lunch and drinks to take our minds off the impending awards ceremony. Before long, we walked back for the final results to be announced. Each participant received a certificate, and the Deloitte and Novartis representatives gave a brief talk about the competition as a whole. Then, the winners were announced -- my team placed first! When we realized, our first instinct was to hug and congratulate each other. Only when that was done, did we file down the front of the room to collect our plaques and awards and get our picture taken. (PICTURED HERE LEFT TO RIGHT: Carlos Ortiz (IPADE, Monterrey), Manual Ostos (Deloitte), Christine Hou (Tuck), Carlos Garcia (Deloitte), Tofic Saleh (IPADE, Monterrey), Salvador Hernandez (Deloitte), Amanda Augustine (IESE, Spain), Vincent ChamaSrour (Deloitte), and Roberto Nunez (IPADE, Mexico City))
With the case competition over, IPADE took us out to see the town. We ate lunch at a great buffet restaurant overlooking the Plaza de la Constitucion and the Metropolitan Cathedral. After we've had our fill, we walked around the square and towards the Palacio de Bellas Artes, admiring the street performers and rustic buildings along the way. A beautiful way to end a great weekend. (PICTURED AT TOP: The lovely panoramic view of the famous Plaza de la Constitucion.)
Flying out of Mexico City was bittersweet (and not only because we left at 5 am). The IPADE case competition was an amazing experience, and some great friends were made. Huge thanks to the IPADE team and everyone who made this possible.
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