Despite the fact that the competition was only open to 4th-year bachelor students or students enrolled in master’s programs, US-born Benjamin was determined to attend.
We are thrilled to announce that 2nd-year Bachelor of Business Administration student Benjamin Weber has won the International EDP University Power Trade Competition. Despite the fact that the competition was only open to 4th-year bachelor students or students enrolled in master’s programs, US-born Benjamin was determined to attend. The organizers were so impressed by his CV and cover letter that they decided to let him attend as a participant. As Benjamin put it, “you can’t win if you don’t put your name in the hat!”
Can you tell us a little bit about the competition itself? What did you like the most about participating in this experience?
The EDP University Power Trade Competition was broken down into two stages. The first stage was held across the Iberian Peninsula: one competition in Porto, two in Lisbon, and one here in Madrid. This stage involved a computer-simulated energy market where, along with a random teammate, you needed to make decisions in the industry and plan for the future.
My teammate Emilio (from another school in Madrid) and I won the Madrid stage of the competition and were then given a business problem to work on from EDP. We were tasked with creating a new form of wireless transmission that uses only 1/14th of the data an SMS requires, to benefit both the customer and the company.
Throughout the month of May we Skyped with our advisor from the company, Tiago, and researched and worked on our solution. On June 8th, EDP flew us to Lisbon to compete at the corporate headquarters, where several departments were present and looking to hire.
The four finalist teams from the first stage (including ours) gave presentations and had to defend their product and thought process. In the end, a group of three judges determined the winning team along with a feasibility check by the advisors beforehand.
How’d you find out about this opportunity? How do you feel your IE experience helped you perform in this competition?
I found out about the EDP Competition through the Career Services’ weekly email and a professor who knew about the opportunity.
IE’s emphasis on soft skills and presentation skills have really turned out to be a benefit. During the presentations, I recognized the slight adjustments that IE has engrained in me to be a better communicator and to accurately deliver the message.
What was the prize?
The prize was a professional internship with EDP. A lot of companies’ hiring processes aren’t entirely open to the public, so getting a foot in the door and being able to move around the company a bit is crucial. The only issue for me is that the professional internships are essentially an entry level job and a bachelor’s degree is required. I’m in contact with the HR department to transfer the professional, paid internship into the academic internship that will count as school credits.
Do you have any tips or pieces of advice for students interested in participating in future editions of this competition?
Don’t think about it too much, just go for it. Often times in life you won’t know the information until you need to know it. The competition requirements indicated only graduating students and master’s students could apply. I sent an email to one of the women organizing the program with my CV and a cover letter. I was invited to participate and we ended up winning the Madrid stage. When we received the instructions for the business challenge, I had no idea what Narrow-Band IoT was, but with time and research, we figured it out, and came out on top. You can’t win if you don’t throw your name in the hat!