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Otago business student wins national award

The Commerce building

Thursday, 14 June 2012

University of Otago Business School student Helena Langer, studying Management for her Bachelor of Commerce, has won the Global Leader Award at the ninth annual Global Enterprise Experience competition.

The Global Enterprise Experience is a New Zealand-initiated international business competition that aims to develop future global leaders with skills in management across cultures, time zones, world views and different levels of wealth and poverty.

Participants from around the world enrol as singles or in pairs and join others to compete in multi-national teams of eight.

This year the competition brought together students from 40 countries into 90 international teams.

Each team had three weeks to meet online, choose a project, then research, design and write a business concept proposal on a profitable product or service to link developed and developing countries for mutual benefit. The competition entries were created and judged online. The competition’s sponsors were Victoria University, the University of Otago, the ANZ Bank and UNESCO.

Helena says the contest was all-consuming as she built her global team. New Zealand’s time-zone meant she was up in the early hours of the morning to link her team on line.

“I realised that life in other parts of the world is not as easy as here in New Zealand,” she says.

Competition director Deb Gilbertson praised the students for “stepping up to the mark and displaying a deep sense of caring about the challenges around the world.”

“The Otago business students were role models for New Zealand, and as leaders they were very active and committed,” she says.

University of Otago Diploma for Graduates (Management) student Charlotte Baddeley was also Highly Commended in the Global Leader Award.

The University of Otago’s Business School featured prominently in the awards with another two students being nominated for the Global Leader Award – fourth year Physical Education and Management student, Matthew Johnson, and first-year Management student, Jennifer Bailey.

The overall winning business concept—Claw for Coruguaje—proposed to work with the Coruguaje tribe to take indigenous intellectual property protection of the local cats claw plant that has strong health benefits to generate local jobs, income and education. This team was led by Victoria University student Kate Stone.

The University of Otago Business School-sponsored Champion Journal Award went to Sebastian Hofler, a German studying in Colombia, who worked with his global team on trading refuse in Nigeria.

Otago also had three students, Nathalie Fahrni (Switzerland), Helene Matti (Sweden) and Sanna Magnusson (Sweden) in teams that received an ANZ Highly Commended Team Report award for producing one of the six best business reports. All three students are currently studying at the University of Otago through its International Student Exchange Programme.

Nathalie’s team explored the idea of a Teaching Exchange Programme - Student volunteers teaching English in remote places, whereas Helene and Sanna were in the same team that examined the idea of a Global Dialogue Network – an event-listing company for dialogue between countries.

The contest winners were announced was judged by David Clendon (MP and Greens spokesperson for tertiary education), Sir Anand Satyanand (former Governor General), Winnie Laban (Assistant Vice Chancellor at Victoria University) and Jo Riley (ANZ Senior Manager).

For further information contact

Dr Virginia Cathro,


University of Otago
Email virginia.cathro@otago.ac.nz

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

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