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Cian Hallissey and Ben Fleming image

University of Otago Business School students Cian Hallissey, left, and Ben Fleming are off to Oslo this February.

Two University of Otago students are Oslo-bound this February to compete in an international business case competition.

Cian Hallissey and Ben Fleming will join two Victoria University Wellington students to compete as Team Universities of New Zealand (TUNZ), representing Aotearoa New Zealand at the BI International Business Case Competition 2024 in Norway.

Cian says the four team members took part in a training camp in Ōtautahi Christchurch recently which was a rewarding experience that saw them merging case analysis processes from different universities.

“It’s an honour to represent the University in a New Zealand team,” he says.

“We are all proud to wear the silver fern.”

Senior lecturer Dr John Guthrie, of Otago, will serve as chef de mission for the TUNZ team. Competing against the best universities in the world is an exciting opportunity for the team, he says.

“There is clear evidence of the benefits that the case students gain in strategic thinking and presentation skills.”

Case involvement is an excellent tool to combat recently talked about AI tools such as chatbot software ChatGPT, he says.

“There’s nowhere to hide when you are presenting a solution to judges.”

TUNZ will be up against 11 universities including HEC Montreal, Maastricht University, Copenhagen Business School, FEP Porto and Queens University Canada.

The competition consists of two cases. Case 1 has a six-hour preparation, and for the second case the teams will have 30 hours to prepare, present, and defend their proposal to a panel of judges in Norway.

Although the organisations on which the cases are based on are unknown in advance, previous BI competitions have had a focus on energy, food sustainability, and climate.

TUNZ falls under the umbrella of the New Zealand Student Development Society which is funding the team’s training and competition entry. Students are funding their own travel.

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