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Outstanding results for LUSEM at the world’s biggest business case competition

A happy case team, smiling in front of the camera, wearing business attire. Photo.
The LUSEM students with team coach Mats Urde. Photo: Private.

Lund University School of Economics and Management (LUSEM) made fireworks at the 2024 John Molson MBA International Case Competition, securing 3rd place in the final. Teacher Mats Urde received the award for Coach of the Year, and the LUSEM team alternate student joined the Global Team which was awarded the Team Spirit Award.

The John Molson MBA International Case Competition was established in 1981 and stands as the oldest and most prestigious business case competition globally, featuring 30 teams of highly skilled MBA students from around the world. 

When we reach Mats Urde, Associate professor in Strategic Brand Management and coach for the LUSEM team, he is in an airport in Zurich on his way back to Lund.  

“I am deeply impressed,” says Mats. “Even getting to the semi-finals is considered an achievement. It’s a prestigious competition and the teams competing are all very strong. It shows that even with the fierce competition from bigger universities with more extensive resources, we can shine. We punch way beyond our weight.”

Insights on how to be creative

Reflecting on the success, Mats Urde highlights the LUSEM approach to case training, emphasising the importance of storytelling.

“When we work with a case, we’re not just looking at the parts but at the whole. But I think many things come into play. We have amazing students and I am very proud of the team.”

Anne Nerissa Acuña, who studies the Master’s programme International Marketing and Brand Management, is one of the students who competed for the LUSEM team. Initially, she joined the case training sessions to build up her confidence when it comes to presenting cases in front of an audience. 

“I had no expectations going in the competition,” Anne says, and adds: “But as we went through cases, we knew we had good business solutions to present, so it gave us confidence to get into the finals.” 

LUSEM student joined the Global Team

Anne Nerissa Acuña says that she takes “a whole lot” with her from the experience.

“I met wonderful new people from different parts of the world, and I gained a lot of insights on how to be creative in business. More importantly, I learned that there is immense fulfilment in taking on challenges, even if you are unsure of yourself, that you can only gain from such experiences,” Anne Nerissa Acuña says

Jannis Maass, student in the Master’s programme in Management, was appointed alternate in the LUSEM team, ready to join in case anyone in the team would be unable to make it. With the full team ready to go to Canada, Jannis still wanted to participate in the competition and decided to pay for his own trip to be part of the Global Team. Notably, the Global Team won three rounds and was also awarded the Team Spirit Award. 

Mats Urde awarded coach of the year 

Each year one team coach that has demonstrated excellent mentorship is awarded the J.Pierre Brunet Coach Award, also called Coach of the Year. This year Mats Urde was selected to win by his fellow coaches. Mats describes feeling happy and a little bit surprised to be chosen: 

“I have been a coach for 11 years, and I have also been part of a reference group giving input to the development of the competition. As a coach I belong to an international community, and I feel honoured getting this recognition from my colleagues.”

To prepare for the competition, the team practiced on minimum of one case a week, and two cases a week leading up to the holidays. But Anne also describes a training session where the students, to their surprise, were asked to make a lasagna from scratch as a team building exercise. 

“Mats is a very good coach and well respected among peers within international case competitions,” Anne Nerissa Acuña says. “He gave us great advice on how to tackle challenges and anticipate possible topics for cases.”

Study at LUSEM

The LUSEM team 2024

Anne Nerissa Acuña
Student in the Master’s programme International Marketing and Brand Management

Konstanty Mrozowski
Student in the Master’s programme International Strategic Management

Viktor Bergqvist 
Student in the Bachelor’s programme in Business and Economics (Ekonomie kandidatprogrammet)

Carl Hedelin 
Student in the Master’s programme International Strategic Management               

Team coach Mats Urde
Associate professor in Strategic Brand Management

LUSEM participation in the Global Team 

Jannis Maass
Student in the Master’s programme in Management (MiM)