Students competing to solve problems of the business world

This April, Business and Social Sciences will host an intensive competition for business students as Aarhus Case Competition kicks off for the very first time. Everyone at the main academic area is invited to participate in four days of learning at Fuglesangs Allé, whilst nine teams will compete in solving real-world business cases and compete for a prize of DKK 14,000.

2012.03.15 | Anne Shirin Ørberg

Can three bright heads crack a complex and strategic challenge of a large, international company in just 24 hours? This is what nine selected teams will attempt to do at Aarhus Case Competition, which takes place in Aulaen at Fuglesangs Allé between 15 and 19 April.

The event is the first of its kind at Aarhus University, and has been created by 20 voluntary BSS students. Their vision is for Aarhus Case Competition to become an annual event, which, in addition to granting the students an educative experience, can generate positive attention from the business world and other academic environments.

Academic competences in real-world situations

- There is a difference between what the companies demand from their future employees and what we are taught at the universities on a daily basis, says Anders Haugbølle Thomsen, head coordinator of the competition. He hopes that Aarhus Case Competition can give students an opportunity to test their competences in real-world situations:

- I’ve participated in a case competition and I instantly fell in love with the concept. You’re tested in everything you’ve learnt, and you have to remain focused and structured whilst working under a strict timetable. It is a very giving experience, says Anders Haugbølle Thomsen.

A strong message from Business and Social Sciences
Case competitions are a relatively new phenomenon. During the past ten years, the Copenhagen Business School has won much international recognition for its model, and Anders Haugbølle Thomsen feels that the time has come for Aarhus University to develop its own competition.

- We want to show that the business programmes at Aarhus University live up to the modern standard. Aarhus Case Competition is intended for students at both Bachelor and Graduate levels across the Nordic countries, and will hopefully help put BSS on the map as it turns into an annual tradition, he says.

In the longer term, our goal is to create a “Case Competition culture” in Aarhus, which can inspire and challenge business students academically as well as strengthen the bond between BSS and the business world for many years to come.

- We’ve had tremendous support from the business world. They will have the opportunity to “brand” themselves for the students and show them the challenges their respective businesses face today. Companies will get hands-on experience in terms of what BSS can offer, and they are obviously very well-disposed towards the fact that the graduate students receive specific tools whilst they are still studying, the head coordinator says.

Join the open workshop in Aulaen

Simultaneously with the intensive competition, all students at Aarhus University are invited to attend academic presentations and workshops at Fuglesangs Allé. The idea is that everybody at the university will be given the chance to participate in Aarhus Case Competition and acquire new tools in terms of problem solving and presentation – just like the nine teams.

- It is a little unorthodox, but we want to offer everyone the opportunity to test themselves with the three cases. This will take place in less formal surroundings in Aulaen where there will be daily workshops with refreshments. These workshops will present students with good sparring opportunities, explains Anders Haugbølle Thomsen.

He underlines the fact that the event is not only intended for business students:

- Everybody who is interested in the business community, and the challenges which it currently faces, is welcome to join. This also goes for staff members at the university. This is certainly the case on Thursday, during the big finale, when the three best teams will present their solutions in Aulaen and the winner will be announced.

Participation in the presentations and the case workshops is free of charge but does require registration on the competition website.

About Aarhus Case Competition 2012

  • The event will take place between 15 April and 19 April 2012. It is the first of its kind in Aarhus and is headed by 20 voluntary BSS students, and in co-operation with a number of companies.
  • Nine teams consisting of three students each will compete to solve two small and one big case as well as possible. The overall prize amounts to DKK 14,000.
  • In the days leading up to the 24-hour case, the event will focus on tools for problem solving (Monday) and presentation (Tuesday). All students and staff members can attend the workshops in Aulaen and test themselves with the two “warm-up cases”. On Wednesday, the 24-hour case will be revealed, and there will once again be a workshop in Aulaen. The winners of the DKK 10,000 prize will be revealed at the final presentation on Thursday afternoon, which everybody can attend.

Read more about Aarhus Case Competition, see the full programme and register for the presentations and workshops on the competition website.


Anders Haugbølle Thomsen
Head coordinator of Aarhus Case Competition
Tel.: (+45) 2344 2276

Aarhus BSS, Students, Event type
308627 / i40