Business competitions: different aspects and effects on future career ..

Business competitions are becoming more popular day by day promising lots of benefits to young students. Do the positives outweigh the negatives? Can winning business competitions land your dream job? Nasif Tanjim undertakes these questions and tries to explore the underneath truth of these competitions.



A couple of weeks back I was having dinner with some of my friends. We were having a conversation about what we planned on doing after graduation. Whilst discussing job opportunities in Bangladesh and what helps people in landing on their dream jobs, one of my friends boldly remarked that winning business competitions are a must to get your dream job. This got me thinking, are business competitions really that helpful in pursuing jobs. And if so, why is that? What makes winning business competitions such an important addition to one’s CV?

There are a number of popular types of business competition in Bangladesh. One of them is the business case competition, where students are provided with a case and then they have to analyze that case and come up with viable solutions to the problems mentioned in the case, then during the latter stages of the competitions they are tasked with giving presentations on the solutions they came up with. These cases are mostly based on real world events and scenarios. Ad making competitions are quite popular nowadays. Participants have to make advertising campaigns for different kinds of products throughout the course of the competition. Some bigger competitions ask the participants to conduct real world campaigns or complete tasks. Expectedly the tasks get more and more complex as the competition progresses.

Now let’s dive into what the benefits of participating in such competitions are.

These competitions try to emulate real world conditions to test how you handle them. During your first few competitions more often than not, you will find yourself pulling off an all-nighter to meet the deadline mostly thanks to procrastination. Learning to deal with the situation will help you tackle real world problems with more composure. And with a few competitions under your belt you will know how to use your time and other resources to better effect. This very time management skill will certainly aid you in the real life.

Most competitions require participants to present in front of large audiences and esteemed judges. Not only does this help with the unreasonable fear of public speaking many of us have but it also helps in using visual aids to convey your ideas clearly. These skills are a must for most business professionals.

Winning a major business competition will have a positive impact on your life. For the next few days everything will be rainbows and butterflies. You will see mentions of yourself in social media, newspapers and maybe even television. Your Facebook timeline will be slumped with wishes and demands of treats from well wishers. Apart from the individual achievements business competitions are definitely a good platform to represent your institution and bring glory to its way.

Almost all competitions require that you form a team. Teamwork is a must if you want to do well in competitions. You learn how to work in a team, how to deal with different types of team mates. You get to know which role suits you best in a group. This will help you when you have to work with a team, in your workplace.
Many competitions have a round where you have to complete your task in a very short span of time. These rounds teach you to think on your feet. In the real world you will need to take decisions with far reaching impacts quickly and decisively. And the experience you gather from business competitions will aid you in these types of situations.

And global competitions allow you to visit different countries. Mingling with foreign nationals brings you some much needed perspectives. You get to know how the rest of the world is thinking. You will also make friends from all over the world. Having foreign friends can be handy in today’s world. And getting to visit another country is always fun.

But all the impacts of the business competitions are not so positive. Let’s take a look at the negatives.

In many cases, you have no other option but to do a lot of guess work. Is it very logical or realistic for an undergraduate student to make a detailed plan for ‘Complete Re-branding Bangladesh Police’s campaign’? And that is not the only problem; innovative ideas that the young minds come up with will end up in the shelves, never to see the light of day. There is also the concern that faceless corporations are obtaining million dollar ideas for a meager amount of money. Participants can come up with ideas that are not feasible at all in real world and still be rewarded, which might harm them when they have to come with grounded ideas that are executable.

Lack of transparency is a major concern for business competitions. You might come up with an imaginative idea, convey it properly and get glowing reviews from the judges but still end up not getting your desired result, because the organisers had a predetermined preferred candidate. Sometimes people who have no background in anything remotely related to business are asked to be judges at business competitions. So, your hard work might not receive the credit it deserves.

And lots of competitions essentially come with very similar tasks. So after a while they might feel repetitive.

So, the moment of truth is here. And we have a hanged jury here. Business competitions can’t guarantee you the job of your dreams. But the skills you take away from these competitions will aid you in performing your job to the best of your ability. So, in a nutshell, winning business competitions do add weight to your CV. It ensures that you possess most of the abilities the employers are seeking. Doing well in business competitions is a promise, a promise that someday you will do great things. So ladies and gentlemen, go out there and make true on that promise.


Nasif Tanjim is a student of Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka.




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