Students win the biggest case competition in Scandinavia

A five-year business plan for the Copenhagen Zoo. This was essentially the task at the CBS Case Competition, Beat the Elite 2014. The winning entry was proposed by four students from School of Business and Social Sciences (BSS) at Aarhus University.

On Friday 28 February 2014, the four BSS students Alexander Bitzow Pedersen, Oskar Harmsen, Peter Aagaard Nielsen, Thyge Ryom Enggaard wrote themselves into history, when they won the 2014 CBS Case Competition Beat the Elite, which is known as the leading case competition for university students in Scandinavia.

Competing against 85 teams of BA and MA students from other Scandinavian countries, the four students contributed with the best solution to this year’s business case.

They were set the task of producing a five-year business plan for the Copenhagen Zoo, and they only had 24 hours to do it. The four winners are students on the Economics and Management programme, the BSc in Economics and Business Administration and the MSc in Finance at School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University. Their presentation consisted of a rebranding proposal for the Copenhagen Zoo, focusing on the zoo’s great potential as a place for teaching and education. 

No outside help

The winning team know each other from being part of the same study group and the student association the Finance and Consulting Club Aarhus (FACCA). Contrary to teams from CBS, they have not had any organised help and training from their teachers in preparation for the case competition:

“Everything has been done by students only, from beginning to end And though we are proud to have gotten this far on our own, we see that CBS are far ahead in terms of preparing the students for the competition,” says Oskar Harmsen, who is on the sixth semester of the Bachelor’s programme in economics and management.

Possibilities at AU

Oskar Harmsen emphasises the efforts made by the Aarhus Case Competition to build a strong case competition for students in Aarhus. As a student, he recommends that the university extend its efforts in this area.

“Apart from the fact that it is a good opportunity to promote Aarhus University and School of Business and Social Sciences internationally, it is also a career-relevant and powerful experience for the students,” says Oskar Harmsen and proceeds:

“We are confronted with the stuff that we should be able to do when we finish our degrees. We get a relatively short amount of time to solve a complex problem that we are not familiar with beforehand, and then we are asked to structure and present a solution proposal in a convincing way. We barely slept for the three days the competition lasted. It was intense and very entertaining, but also a very nice break away from the everyday lectures,” says Oskar Harmsen.

Read more about the CBS Case Competition, Beat the Elite 2014
Watch the students’ presentation (search for: Beat the eliite finale LIVE)


Oskar Harmsen, 6th semester student on the Bachelor’s programme in economics and management. 


Martin Damsgaard, AU Communication, BSS
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