Many greetings from the American West Coast, where 4 intrepid University of Sydney Business School students have embarked on the Global Business Case Competition in Seattle, hosted by the University of Washington's Foster Business school.
We landed on Saturday to the warm welcome provided by the University of Washington students, who amazingly, are the ones running this competition. It involves fourteen teams from around the globe, from Oman to Portugal, Canada to Thailand. On Thursday we will all be locked down in a 48 hour marathon of analysis and presentation preparation in an an attempt to impress business leaders with our case solving prowess; at stake - the pride of our universities!
Seattle is a hub for many of world's finest corporate institutions, among them heavyweights such as Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks and Amazon, as well as a thriving start-up community. We can think of no better place to sharpen our skills as fledgling business people than amongst such thriving titans of industry. That said, we are also here to take advantage of the opportunity to network with the executives of these companies, who both sponsor and feature in the competition!
Of course, we did not travel half way around the globe for two days of scheming! "U-Dub", as students of Washington university refer to it (or "big W" as I mistakenly did), has graciously offered us the opportunity to make lasting friends across the globe, in a series of tours, events and forums with the competing students. Seattle is a beautiful city, possessed of an amazing culture of innovation and global outlook. Maybe it was just the bike racks on the buses, the massive burgers, or the general friendliness, but one feels one is at the centre of something special here. That said, there is always something to remind oneself of home - specifically the pot luck of Thai restaurants surrounding the uni.
If we don't pass out from a Frappucino overdose, you'll be hearing from us soon as we get to meet and greet the other teams tomorrow!!