Alba Dieguez, fourth-year student of the Dual Bachelor in Business Administration and International Relations, has recently won the 2019 EY Challenge, a business case competition involving over 500 students.

Alba also participated last year, and although she did not reach the finals, she decided to try again this year, which turned out to be a very wise decision. Congratulations Alba!

Earlier this year, Alba participated in an exchange program at McGill University in Canada.

Keep reading to discover her thoughts on her amazing achievement.

How did you find out about this opportunity?

I found out about the EY Challenge last year through the Talent & Careers weekly emails. A couple of my friends and I signed up, and even though we were not selected for the final, I liked the simulation so much that I decided to participate again this year.

How do you feel your IE experience helped you perform in this challenge?

Something that was very important during the challenge was being able to work with other people in groups to come up with solutions to the business cases together. Presentation skills were also important, because after the group work, we had to present our findings in front of the partners and senior leaders of the firm. I think that my studies at IE University have helped me develop these skills, as I have constantly been involved in group work throughout the entirety of my degree.

Can you tell us a little bit about the challenge itself? What did it consist of? And did you like the experience?

The first phase was two online simulations. In the first simulation, we were in charge of the management of five cities. We had to take into account population growth and the needs of the citizens as the cities grew.

The second simulation involved the management of a business. We were asked to make choices about the firm’s strategy and all its departments: production, HR, distribution, marketing, etc. Performance was measured by the level of coherence and accuracy of your decisions.

In the final phase, all 30 finalists met, and across two days, we had to solve two business cases in random groups. In this section, teamwork and communication were key to achieving success.

Overall, I really enjoyed taking part in the competition. It allowed me to experience what consulting is like, while having fun and meeting a lot of interesting people.

What was the prize?

The prize was the opportunity to be an intern at EY. There were five prizes awarded—one for each line of business in the company.

Would you like to share any tips or advice with current students interested in participating in future editions of this challenge?

My advice to everyone who is thinking about participating is to DO IT! It is a great opportunity to apply your knowledge to real-world practices, and you get so much more from it than just the prizes.

Anything else you’d like to share about this experience?

I would like to encourage everyone to participate. Personally, I never thought I would have been selected to be in the final, nevermind win the competition! I realize now that most of the time it is in fact ourselves who are unaware of our own potential. Nevertheless, I pushed myself to try, and now I couldn’t be happier about my decision.