The Global Management Challenge is a strategy and management competition in Portugal and a further 32 countries, which over the years has facilitated the creation of working relationships between participants and companies, and even motivated team members to create their own businesses.
In Portugal, some of the companies that financially support the registration of student teams are aiming at recruiting talent. “We have already hired four students through this initiative, and we know many more who we believe, either at the end of their courses or later on, will look to us as the company of their future”, says Inês Domingues, director of human resources at ITSector. She argues that these types of challenges test competences related to management profiles, such as leadership, and at the same time help acquire concepts and knowledge about economics, marketing, risk analysis, and others. “It is about experiencing real challenges and solving them with knowledge that doesn’t come from books, and it forces us to demonstrate the importance of behavioural skills in the labour market,” says Inês Domingues.
Other companies, such as Accenture Portugal, have already provided job opportunities to teams they supported. And Konica Minolta Portugal invites students they support to visit their headquarters and encourage them to view it as a career opportunity.
Taking a step back in time, José Miguel Pessanha told Expresso that in 1981, when his team won that year’s edition, victory gave him his first contact with Banco Português do Atlântico, where his career began at that time.
Wang Jiancheng, professor of management at Sun Yat-sen University, got his job after taking the Challenge in 2001. “With the experience of participating, I was appointed by the university after my graduation to become a teacher and to prepare students who were going to take part in the Challenge in the future,” he says.
Whereas Liu Linhao, also Chinese, participated in 2011 and explains that, “thanks to simulating the life of a company, I have built the foundations to create my own business.” He is a co-founder of WeSharing, which provides services to foreign students.
In the competition, besides technical knowledge, participants can establish decisive relationships in their professional lives
In Russia, Ruslan Sagitov was part of the winning team in the 2016 international final and reveals that the test gave him the confidence and knowledge to start a business. Victory allowed him to meet successful figures and members of the Russian government, relationships that remain for life. His countryman Sergey Ionin, whose team came second in the 2017 international final, works at Sberbank. “The competition gave me two professional opportunities, it allowed me to meet the right person who helped me get the invitation for an interview and helped me again with what it taught me, namely to achieve goals and to study hard”, he stresses.
Elsewhere in the globe, in Kenya, Oliver Maina Muchiri who took part in the 2015 edition says that, “thanks to the competition I was admitted to the Young African Leadership Initiative. This is an educational programme and the organizers were impressed with the work done during the Challenge, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practice, which is a problem in my country”. He remembers that having participated in an international final, he made friends in various parts of the globe, who even today help him in his professional life.
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