This year, the Careers Centre is sponsoring 3 teams from the University of Leeds to participate in UK-wide IBM Universities Business Challenge.
Universities Business Challenge (UBC) is an annual competition in which teams from universities throughout the UK compete against each other for the honour of becoming overall winner (not to mention pocketing a tidy cash sum). In addition to this, UBC helps participants improve their knowledge of the business world, put theory into practice and develop team-working, leadership and employability skills. The challenge – and it’s called a ‘challenge’ for good reason – gives participants the chance to work as a board of directors in a series of realistic, simulated companies, making all the critical business decisions that affect the company’s performance.
We had a great response to our advertisement back in September for teams interested in representing the University of Leeds and, after a number of selection events, we whittled it down to the final 3 teams. The teams are well into Round 1 of the competition having just completed their fourth trading period and are all doing fantastically well, so we thought it high time to introduce them to you!
“The Invisible Hands”
“The Invisible Hands” – whose team name is inspired by Adam Smith’s invisible hand theory in economics – are a team newly formed for this competition. Their mission for the business challenge is to become the Apple of the food world (the simulated business which teams are managing for this round of UBC is a food manufacturing business). They hope that their varied subjects of study will give their team a unique perspective during the challenge. They are (left to right);
Josh Walker – 3rd year Business & Financial Economics
Tom Beard (Team Leader) – 3rd year Business Ecomonomics
Kelly Wood – 1st year Business Management with Marketing
Will Higgins – 2nd year Geological Sciences
Vanessa Karsah – 3rd year Psychology
Team Famas have previously worked well together, having narrowly missed out on first place in the 2012 Leeds Enterprise Business Challenge. Their team mission is to utilise their diverse experience and skill-set to achieve success. They are (left to right)
Freddie Fitz-Gibbon – 2nd year Design Management. He recently started his own company at University, in which he designed, developed and distributed merchandise to sell at the London Olympic Games.
Olivia Strong – 2nd year Politics & Sociology. Was this year elected as the director of the Leeds University RAG fashion show. During her school career she was acknowledged as the Managing Director of the Year in the Scottish Young Enterprise team. Clearly she will be able to lead, delegate and structure our team effectively throughout this task.
Benjamin Alldis (Team Leader) 2nd year Geography and Economics, and he demonstrates his interest for Business innovation through his participation in the Enterprise Society. His Enterprise skill was acknowledged when he came second in the Big Business Challenge 2011.
Megan Armour – 2nd year Management and Economics. As the head of one of the Leeds Cheerleading teams, she highlights her creativity through music and dance. Megan’s internship with DDB China this Summer has given her an insight into how different economies operate and how to successfully brand and market different business ventures. Her work with clients such as Unilever and Adidas will enable us to strategically plan solid marketing concepts.
Eddie Cummings – 2nd year Spanish and has a central role in the Leeds Student Newspaper. He will enhance the team’s structuring of reports and communication of ideas. Moreover, Eddie has undertaken two marketing placements and was also involved with a Young Enterprise team in London during sixth form.
“The Engineers” are five second-year students studying Mechanical, Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering. They have previous experience of working well together as a team, notably last year when they designed a glider, which after competitive testing was ranked second in their year. In addition to their technical skills they have a shared interest in business and business strategy.
Pictured above are three of the five team members. They are (left to right)
Matthew Clarke – 2nd year Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering
David Penny – 2nd year Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering
Saad Ali (Team Leader) – 2nd year Mechanical Engineering
Not pictured are;
Alistair Rodgers – 2nd year Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering
Robert Tuton – 2nd year Mechanical Engineering
With only one more trading period remaining in round 1, we are looking forward to seeing if the Leeds teams can maintain their form and make it through to the semi-finals!