What was your strategy going into the competition? What worked and what didn’t?
The most important thing was having all the team members committed to working as hard as needed to make it as far as we could. With that in mind, we started drafting the whole strategy. Our priorities were doing the most research possible, practicing as much as we could, and always working as a team. Getting ourselves to be confident in our team was crucial for success. After all, we were the first Peruvian team to make it to Americas Regional Final Round.
At first, we expected every team member to know everything, but that thinking didn’t work out. We formed as a team because everyone had a different and complementary set of skills, so what worked best in the end was leveraging our diversity—everyone got focused on a specific assignment and role while always supporting each other. We ended up working as an orchestra: each team member took care of a specific part of the presentation, but all the music was made in coordination.
What obstacles did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?
I would list three obstacles:
- Getting all those financial concepts we learned in university right in practice: It was the first financial modeling experience for some of the team members, so it required a lot of hard work. Our mentors and own research played an important role in this issue.
- Working with a diverse group of people you did not know before the competition: Sometimes, we had different ways of addressing tasks and priorities, but always being transparent and having deadlines and targets clear was very helpful.
- Overcoming unforeseen challenges: For example, when I started presenting during the national Peruvian round, the microphone stopped working. I had to improvise and stay calm.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Maybe practice a bit more for the Q&A questions, since this was the section where we got the lowest score and, in my opinion, the toughest module of the competition. It is very difficult to be prepared for all the possible questions the jury could ask, but reading and practicing as much as possible can make a difference.
Was it all worth it? What did you get out of the experience?
It was one of the best experiences I have had. All the hard work was worth it when we got the announcement that we were in the Americas Regional Finals. From this experience, I gained five good friends (my team and our mentor) and developed hard and soft skills that will be useful along my career path. Just to name a little of what I learned through the competition: teamwork, presentation skills, attention to detail, working under pressure, and a lot of financial knowledge!