Hopefully you haven’t missed that the application period to be part of Öresund; Linking Minds (ÖLM) has now opened! And hopefully you haven’t either missed the latest episode of the Lundtan <3 ÖLM podcast, featuring no other than Mats Urde. If you do not yet know what ÖLM is, listen to the podcast and find out!
But what is it actually like to participate in the competition? We had a chat with no other than the project leader of Lund International Week (also coming up soon); Anton Jernå, who was a part of the winning team in the first competition day of ÖLM 2018, about his personal expectations, gains and the overall experience from being part in the competition.
Anton, why did you choose to apply to ÖLM in the first place?
Honestly, I did not know from the beginning what ÖLM was. But I think it was Adam (Åberg, participant ÖLM 2018) or Amanda (Heintze, sponsorship coordinator ÖLM 2018) who informed me about it later on. The opportunity to participate in a case competition together with Copenhagen Business School (CBS), a big and prestigious school in Denmark, was something I found interesting.
What was your expectations on being part of a case competition?
The expectations were high in regards to it being a competition. I have always had a competitive mind and always entered competitions with a mindset to win it. To go into a competition in which I could put my studies to the test straight away in my first year of business studies was something I found very interesting. My expectations was to see how much I have learned and see if there was anything I could take with me from my first year in school. I was super excited, and I also think that was one of the reasons to why it went so well.
What was your experience from working in a group with people you had not met before?
For us it felt natural straight away. I did not know my partners before we arrived in Denmark, not even Filip (Jonsson) who was my partner from Lund. But we met the two Danish girls and we headed off and divided our roles directly as the two Danish girls had a clear vision for how the three hours you get to solve the case should be structured. Everything worked really well, I would say. All of us were quite ambitious and everyone went in with the mindset to perform well, which actually made the process of working together very smooth.
Do you have any general tips when it comes to the competition days?
If you are like me that do not have any former case solving experience, go in it a mindset to use it to your advantage, and try to see it on a different point of view. My main tip to perform good in the competition is to work well with your group. You are never going to perform well if you go in and work on your own in order to win by yourself. If the group works well, you are going to perform well. Other than that, try to be comfortable standing in front of a crowd and giving a performance. If you are not comfortable with that, it is going to be difficult.
What part of the case competition did you find the most fun?
I would say the actual presentation of the case, even though that was my weakest point. It was such as adrenaline rush, and a bit challenging to go up there and convince the jury that you believe in something which you have only known about for a couple of hours. That was challenging, but so rewarding in the end.
Personally, I find the presentation part pretty chill, but what I worry a bit about is the questions the jury will ask in the end. What is your opinion on this?
The questions from the jury is the part when I relax. My strength has always been to see what they are asking about and try to analyze that and turn the question around to something I can push it towards. For me, It was the actual presentation rather than the questions that was challenging, I would say.
What did you gain from participating?
Obviously connections. That might be a boring answer, but I made two great friends in Denmark, and I consider Filip a friend when I meet him. But the experience of doing our presentation of the case in the big auditorium in front of everybody after only three hours was also a rewarding experience, as it has taught me how to deal with stressful situations in a better way. It is not only in case competitions we are facing cases to solve, for example, now I study strategic organization, and a large part of that course is case solving. Having a week to prepare the case in my course seems like a lot of time compared to the three hours you get in a case competition!
Would you recommend other students to send in an application?
Yes! Yes, I would! It was one of the highlights from my first year in Lund, so I would definitely recommend it. It was so much fun and nice to experience Copenhagen and CBS.
Thank you Anton for taking your time! Hopefully he has managed to convince you to apply. If not, do not miss the final episode of the Lundtan <3 ÖLM podcast dropping later on this week, where Malkolm, Amanda and Carl-Oscar will do their best to make you do so! The deadline to apply, which you can do by following this link: https://podio.com/webforms/22473894/1584168 , is getting closer, what are you waiting for?