Guest Blog By: Melissa Liu (Booth ’16) & Rob Parsley (Kellogg ’16)
Most people who pursue a business education are Type-A, “go getter” people. Let’s face it, business is ultimately a competition and, for many people, it starts with getting a quality education and landing a good job. Some of the primary motivations for many of us that are going to be attending ROMBA 2015 are the networking and other professional opportunities. That’s a good thing and we certainly encourage everyone to maximize those opportunities at ROMBA. Many attendees might not be familiar with some of the opportunities to compete AT the conference.
This year, at ROMBA, we will feature 3 competitions:
- The Case Competition (Sponsored by EY)
- The Startup Pitch Competition (Sponsored by CapitalOne)
- The Mergers & Acquisitions Competition (Sponsored by Credit Suisse)
We would suggest that the ROMBA competitions are a little different than those you might face in an interview room. In many ways, each of these competitions presents an opportunity for you to challenge yourself. For first-year business students, who might be relatively inexperienced in some fields, the competitions provide a safe opportunity to try out work that interests you. For second-year students, the opportunity to flex your muscles and distinguish yourself is key. Regardless of where you are in your business education, ROMBA is a great venue to challenge yourself in this way.
The Case Competition will challenge participants to think like a consultant. While you will receive the case materials a few weeks in advance, you’ll still need to think through how to digest and present the information in the case. Consulting is a top destination for many business graduates, and this opportunity to think through a business question and network with LGBT consultants at ROMBA is second-to-none.
The Startup Pitch Competition will give participants a unique opportunity to pitch a new venture idea to a panel of VCs. If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, want to work on your pitch skills, or just want to get some feedback on your business idea, this competition is definitely for you.
Finally, the Mergers & Acquisitions Competition, in its inaugural year, will allow participants to experience the role of an investment banker through an actual real-life M&A scenario. You’ll present your perspective on changes in the industry and how and why your client should respond through an M&A deal. Then you’ll have a chance to get valuable feedback from investment banking professionals on your presentation skills and strategic recommendations. After the competition, Credit Suisse bankers will walk you through how the transaction really happened and the strategy and analysis behind them.
All of the competitions have cash prizes, but the real value of participating comes from what you’ll learn through the process. As two people who participated in the ROMBA Competitions at last year’s conference, we can guarantee that the experience will challenge you, but also that you’ll learn a lot through the process.
Good luck – and register for the competitions here!