Wednesday, 19 June 2013
Working with a team of fellow university students from six countries in a global business competition was a ''great experience'', Sophie Pinto-Raetz says.
Ms Pinto-Raetz (21), a fourth-year student at the University of Otago studying microbiology and management, won the University of Otago Business School champion global leader award in the Global Enterprise Experience.
The award recognised her leadership of her team of eight students from Fiji, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria and Wales.
Her team also won an ANZ highly commended award for its project, MagGas Co, which proposed a landfill gas collection plant in South Africa.
The Global Enterprise Experience, run out of Victoria University, brought together 764 students from 50 countries in 95 international teams.
Having an understanding of different cultures was integral to understanding how to communicate with her fellow team members, and how to identify with them as a leader, Ms Pinto-Raetz said.
Her team communicated across multiple time zones for three weeks to produce a business concept proposal for a profitable product or service that addressed a millennium goal of the United Nations Development Programme.
She believed the experience would prove to be ''invaluable'' in the future.
She enjoyed attending the prizegiving ceremony, which was held at a function at Parliament, where New Zealand students accepted awards on behalf of their international colleagues.
The champion team award was won by the Student Entrepreneur Finance Network project led by Jake McInteer, from Victoria University, for what Ms Pinto-Raetz described as a ''really cool idea''.
His team came up with the concept of creating a university course in a developed country where students provided micro-finance loans of $50 to $150 to entrepreneurs in villages in developing countries, and supported these loans with advice and guidance.