Winning the Visa Case Competition requires innovative ideas, creative thinking and hard work, but it all paid off for a team of IE University students. After developing the winning proposal for the case study presented to them, these students will go on to secure jobs at Visa, the world’s leading digital payments technology company.

The Visa Case Competition was developed as an innovative way for the company to find the best talent to join their Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA) team as Consulting Associates. VCA is made up of consultants, economists, data scientists and subject matter experts, all working towards finding the best financial solutions for their clients.

The winning team of three consisted of Vrushab Shekhar Keerthi from India and Alberto Alonso Inope La Rosa from Peru—both second-year Bachelor in Economics students—and Cloe Chapotot from the Dominican Republic and France, a second-year Dual Degree in Business Administration + Data & Business Analytics student.

We spoke to Vrushab, Alberto and Cloe to hear their insights about the competition and what they took away from the experience.

Why did you decide to enter the competition?

As motivated business students with a deep interest in technology, this competition provided us with the perfect opportunity to showcase our abilities and delve into our areas of interest.

This Visa Case Competition involved finding technological solutions that traditional banks can adopt or learn from by studying the emerging digital banks known as neobanks. Using Visa tools such as Currency Cloud, Pismo and APIs, we explored the intricate cloud-based solutions available in the market.

How did you use what you have learned in your master’s program to succeed in this competition?

We applied our classroom knowledge directly to the competition. Cloe brought crucial business insights, including value propositions and marketing strategies, enhancing our overall approach. Meanwhile, Vrushab and Alberto used their understanding of macroeconomic trends and industry analysis to enrich our analysis.

What were the biggest challenges that you faced in the competition?

The main challenge of the competition was differentiating our solution from other teams. Most solutions encouraged traditional banks to adopt the practices of neobanks. However, our team wanted to think outside the box and propose an application that captured digital-savvy consumers without alienating existing consumers within traditional banking.

The second main challenge was how to efficiently present our solution to the judges. In the end, the visual presentation of our strategy report through a well-designed slideshow made a pivotal difference by helping the judges follow our reasoning.

What would you say was key to your success?

Firstly, our team took a data-driven approach to the case study. Every proposition made in our report was backed up by trustworthy sources that gave quantitative insights supporting our thesis. This data-centered strategy allowed us to justify every part of our proposal, meaning we were ready to answer all of the judges’ questions.

Additionally, our presentation skills kept the judges engaged throughout. We varied our tone, distributed speaking parts among team members, and used rhetorical questions to lead the audience through our proposal.

What did you learn from the experience?

The Visa Case Competition provided us with practical experience in the consulting sector. By presenting a strategy report in an office scenario, we learned more about the day-to-day activities of a consultant. We also polished our client management skills, as the whole challenge revolved around giving realistic and innovative solutions to a client—in this case, a bank.

What’s your advice to other students looking to boost their profiles and skillsets?

Participate in every competition you can find, as this allows you to apply and test your skills. Even if it seems like too big a challenge, just give it a try—we often underestimate oour own potential.

It’s also a good idea to focus on your presentation and public speaking skills. We found that some ideas that sounded great on paper didn’t translate as well verbally. We recommend adopting a design-thinking mindset and always considering your audience when crafting presentations.