Monday, October 28, 2013

International Business Competition: Representing Fulbright and FDU

As a Fulbrighter from the Palestinian Territories, I am very eager to gain more knowledge about business, especially entrepreneurship and sustainability. To be an opportunity hunter is the best way to achieve my long term goals of helping others to establish and sustain their own businesses, which was basically my work as a Trainer and Business Plan Consultant with United Nation Development Program (UNDP) and Small Enterprise Center Association (SEC) in Gaza. 

Therefore, I didn't hesitate when I received an invitation from the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) to participate in the Aspen Institute’s 2013 Business & Society International MBA Case Competition from March 21st till March 25th. The case that we worked with was authored by the Yale School of Management and the National University of Singapore Business School, entitled, “Golden Agri Resources and Sustainability”. We assessed the company’s current positions and developed a strategic plan for managing marketing, certification, government relations, and communications regarding sustainability.

More than 1000 students from 25 American and European universities participated in this competition in March 2013. My teammates and I started the competition at the school level (FDU). We were trained for one month on how to serve as consultants for a large company and how to prepare a report analyzing the case and answering questions related to sustainability certification, regional economic development, and stakeholder engagement with activist environmental organizations--the main criteria for judging participants.

My teammates were Olena Rudna and Phuoc Luong. The FDU judges chose my team as the winners from within the college. At the competition, the Aspen Institute judges also recognized our group, selecting us as one of five Honorable Mentions who placed in the top 10 among all teams from the 25 participating universities. The result surprised FDU and Aspen judges as it was the first time FDU participated in this highly competitive event.

Participating in the competition offered me several advantages. First, it increased my understanding of critical sustainability issues and business. Second, the competition provided me with the opportunity to practice using my best analytical skills to derive a superior case analysis while working with a diverse team of peers. Additionally, my participation in this prestigious competition represents an attractive enhancement to my appeal in the job market. Overall, it was a great opportunity for me to participate in the Aspen Institute Case Competition.


Pictured from left: Professor Gerard Farias, Graduate Student Phuoc Luong, Professor Joel Harmon, Graduate Student Olena Rudna and Graduate Student Abeer AlYazji.

Abeer Alyazi is a Fulbright grantee from Gaza pursuing an MBA at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

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