Business School Topics
UWA Master of Business Administration (MBA) students reached the Grand Final of an international case competition in Toronto after impressing judges with an outstanding presentation on sustainability in mining.
The team of four students placed fourth overall in the Schulich International Case Competition, run by the Schulich School of Business.
The competition, now in its third year, challenges master's level students to examine complex scenarios in global mining management, and quantify corporate social responsibility efforts for investors of mining companies.
In the first year in which a team from UWA has entered the competition, UWA Business School students Chris Lewkowski, Sara Curtin, Sevi Rich and Matthew Wegg competed against 31 other teams from universities around the world.
Competing teams were required to submit an essay answering a question on sustainable capitalism and the mining industry. Then, teams reaching the next round solved a case question and presented their findings to top level executives at mining, investment and law firms.
Entering the competition, say the students, allowed them to challenge themselves against the best students from across the globe.
“I saw this as a great opportunity to push myself and be challenged by top business schools from around the world,” Matthew said. “The whole experience has been confidence inspiring to know that both UWA and myself can match it with the best on the world stage.”
Sevi agreed, saying the competition allowed her to put her knowledge into practice. "I am already working in the mining sector and quite enjoy problem solving, and working as a team. It was also a great privilege to represent UWA MBA internationally," she said.
Addressing a contemporary issue around corporate social responsibility, says Chris, proved a rewarding experience. "I am not from the mining or financial industry so I wanted to challenge the thinking of these industries and attempt to come up with a more innovative solution, which I believe we achieved," he explained.
"I was keen to be part of an international competition and gain experience in presenting a novel idea and being able to defend it during question time; in the grand final we were questioned by 28 judges from many different industries!"
The competition also allowed the students to apply their theoretical knowledge. Sara explained: "I was studying managerial finance during the competition and it really made this unit come alive for me, considering the social and environmental implications on investment decisions and how they are incorporated into financial models."
The UWA team was assisted by UWA Business School faculty, as well as Resource Capital Funds executives including James McClements (Managing Partner) and Allison Forrest (Responsible Investment Officer). Resource Capital Funds also provided financial support for the students to travel to Toronto.