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Business Students Excel at Top International Business competition

10 Mar 2011

The team travelled to the Business and Information Technology School (BiTS) Iserlohn, Germany in March to compete against 23 teams from 15 countries in a three-day business competition. They were narrowly edged out of first place by ChangeMakers from Purdue University, USA, after being evaluated by a panel of 16 judges from academic, business and entrepreneurial backgrounds across the globe.

After spending considerable time in their summer break putting together a comprehensive application consisting of resumes, CDs, photos, profiles, Commerce/Liberal Studies students Melissa Wadkin, Dave McGrath, Margarita Gerova and Sally Kerfoot, created a group called PrOzParity.

With over 25 sponsors including ADAC, McDonalds, Red Bull and even Ernst & Young, the Rubicon International Contest for Business Students - now in its fifth year - has established itself as one of the most reputable contests of its kind. It has a reputation for fostering the exchange of forward thinking topics in a personal, international network.

The group agrees it was the skills they've acquired at The University of Sydney Business School that provided them with the confidence to present their case studies to the judges.

Melissa Wadkin has said of the experience; "We are so proud of what we have achieved for ourselves and the University. I think our experiences in our business subjects have not only set us up well for competing but have given us confidence to recommend practical strategies to real corporate leaders in an environment where we do not have much background knowledge on the economy, markets and regulation."

Over 13 hour days, the teams were presented case studies on various companies including ADAC (the German equivalent of NRMA), and SIEMENS. With that information they created sustainable products, developed business models, and presented an innovative idea for sustainable transport which would be suitable for long distances and for disabled persons. PrOzParity developed an idea for an electric powered buggy, similar to a golf buggy, which featured solar panels and blue tooth navigation which they presented to all 16 judges.

Dave McGrath said he would recommend the competition to every student, saying; "It was such a great experience, the practice it gives you in presenting real business problems is invaluable. It really helped me see myself developing from a business student into a business person. We made friends with like-minded people, who we hope to stay in touch with."

Acting Dean of The University of Sydney Business School, Professor Tyrone Carlin, said of their achievement; "I am so proud of PrOzParity for representing both the Business School and the University as a whole at such a prestigious competition. It is fantastic to see that not only did they excel academically; they conducted themselves in such as way that they won the Team Spirit Award for the friendliest, most-liked team of the competition. They are a credit to the University and I congratulate them on their success."