Despite having a very early start on the Saturday morning to get to the Durham Business Games, the group seemed to be more energetic and alive than most of the students there.
Keen as ever, the University of Bradford School of Management students were the first to sign in and get settled. This gave us a chance to calm any nerves and prepare ourselves mentally.
After everyone else had arrived, we had the introductions, weekend briefing and then we were split into groups for our challenge. My group was very diverse with students that weren’t doing business related degrees. Although they didn’t have the business theory, they were still able to contribute to the group and were willing to learn from those that had the knowledge. The mixture of degree sets was also helpful in other tasks as they too shared knowledge that a typical business student wouldn’t have.
The first challenge, set by PwC, was the most difficult one. We all came out of the challenge feeling quite drained. Straight after the challenge was lunch, which I personally felt could’ve been better but it was their first time hosting it and I’m sure it will only get better.
After lunch, we had a few presentations from the teams that tackled the challenge the best according to the PwC representatives. The PwC representatives also chose a winner and gave us feedback on what they had wanted to see from the teams. From the feedback, I learnt that I had been overthinking the whole challenge and actually overlooked the objective.
The second challenge soon followed and this was set by Asda. Despite being in a group of total strangers, we all quickly felt like we knew each other well as we tackled the challenge. We were bouncing ideas of each other and working really well together. It was wonderful to work with like-minded people, the challenge allowed us to be more creative which is probably why we enjoyed it more. Although my team didn’t make it to the top three, we were happy with the work we had produced.
WPP’s Marketing Challenge was what we kicked off with on Sunday morning. The challenge was to come up with a craft beer. Although I don’t know much about beers yet alone craft beers, I reckon this was the challenge I enjoyed the most. We were all so confident that we would make the top 3 that we even practised our presentations. In the end we didn’t but we were proud of what we thought could’ve been the best craft beer in the world.
Unilever came in and presented the last challenge. The challenge seemed to be a bit unfair as it required you to have a fair amount of knowledge of Durham University, the environment and the way students behave. However, Unilever gave us with lots of ice cream to keep us going which made the challenge enjoyable! At the end we were also given free deodorant which was a fitting way to end a long, tough but fun weekend.
Overall, I felt that my presentation skills and application of knowledge skills improved significantly thanks to the opportunity to take part in the Durham Business Games. The whole weekend was basically four assessment centres which I believe will help me prepare for my future job application endeavours. It was a very good experience which I recommend for anyone doing a business degree.