This post is a continuation from my previous post which set forth some of the positive attributes of case competitions. Some best practices regarding case competitions include:
1. Make use of all the time you are given. Cases are meant to be challenging, thus if you are given a case a month or a week before it is due, you better make use of that time. Remember, the case competition is extracurricular, so you still have to deal with everyday life issues, class, leadership obligations, etc. The world does not stop for the case competition, so you need to plan your time accordingly.
2. Read the rules carefully and if you are allowed to have an advisor, engage one. I did not realize until this school year that most case competitions allow you to have a faculty advisor work with you in some capacity. This resource is key for a case team’s success, as professors are hyper intelligent individuals that can help you make the best use of your time and help you strategize. Also, it is just a good way to work with a Professor and get to know him/her outside of class.
3. Ready . . . Set . . . RESEARCH. Researching is one of the most important and time consuming components of a case. You may have to get to know an industry, look for best practices or look for precedent. Whatever the information you seek, make sure that you take the time to back up your analysis, recommendations and assumptions with hard research. It makes you and your presentation much more credible.
4. Try to avoid doing things at the last minute. Getting out in front of the work is invaluable to your personal time as well as to the quality of your product. When you wait to the last minute to do things there is more likely to be mistakes in your work and that can hurt your credibility with the judges. If I have something do on Saturday, I would rather stay up really late on Tuesday and Wednesday night to ensure that I don’t have to stay up all night the night before the case is due so that I can be at my best on the day of the presentation.