You have probably already heard about AAU Case Competition- once a year groups of talented students with diverse backgrounds get a unique opportunity to use their creativity and put the theory and academic competencies to test by solving a real-life business challenge from the business community.
Not only do the students expand their network, win big prizes and boost their CV, but they also get a chance to use innovative ideas and analytical thinking to affect their community.
However, it is not only the students who gain a lot. Danish businesses get access to highly educated, bright students with the right skills and qualifications. One of the young talents who, together with her team- Katarzyna, Soo and Thomas, cracked this year’s case provided by Ramboll is Petra Mihucz from Romania, studying Masters in Information Studies at AAU. She mentions, that she would like to pursue a career in Denmark after finishing her studies. The first step she took towards this was joining the one-year programme Young Professionals in Denmark, which is aimed at employing and retaining highly-skilled international full-degree students from Danish universities in local companies.
How cool it is to work in interdisciplinary groups
What was your motivation for applying to AAU Case Competition?
- I wanted to apply in order to challenge myself. To be honest, I am not the type of person to participate in competitions, mostly because I had this idea that competitions of this kind are organized for people smarter and more skilled than myself. Yet I always wondered what it was like to be a part of one, what the challenges are and how to overcome them. I decided to participate, get out of my comfort zone and put my skills to the test. I also felt that it was an amazing opportunity to meet people from other cultures and other study programs. I learned new ways of working, got to know more about myself and how to use competencies from my field in order to solve a problem.
What have you personally gained from it?
- I have gained 3 new friends from my team. We had so much fun working on the idea, brainstorming, coming up with solutions and reasoning our solution out. It was fun and exhausting at the same time. I managed to network and talk to a lot of people, I have added so many contacts to my LinkedIn account. I have also learned more about sustainability and gained new project and time-management skills and techniques. Furthermore, I learned a lot about Ramboll and about all the efforts Aalborg is making in order to create a better, more sustainable future for new generations. I stepped out of my normal project environment where we mostly focus on ICT systems. We were suddenly talking about a project that impacted a city and consequently its people - so I think that also gave me a better understanding on how different fields operate and how we are part of something bigger than just corporations and organizations.
Most students have plenty on their hands. Do you think it is important to participate in extracurricular activities such as AAU CC and why?
Would you encourage other students to apply?
- I indeed have many things on my plate. Previously, I have had several jobs besides my studies, but I know the importance of participating in extracurricular activities. AAU CC, different programmes, working within your field, volunteering all open one’s mind to different ways in which one can impact the society. It also expands your network and provides you with different job opportunities. I would definitely recommend students to participate! You get to work with young, bright minds, you get to talk on stage, sell your idea and to network, what more could a student want?
Can you share some tips or recommendations that have helped you and your teammates in solving the AAU CC?
- I think that we worked well as a team because we embraced our differences, like my teammate Kat mentioned at some point. I agree, we talked everything through and came up with different perspectives on the same problem, but we included every perspective in the solution and thus utilized all three backgrounds and knowledge we had.
Kat, who studies Environmental Planning and Management agrees and says “Planning, communication tools and developing a group social dynamic very quickly. We made sure to connect after we knew who our teammates were. We went out for dinner and drinks and talked about the competition.