Paragraphs highlighted in green indicate diagrams or tables that shall be shared in the “Case exhibits” section.
Paragraphs highlighted in blue shall be verbally communicated to the interviewee.
Paragraphs highlighted in orange indicate hints for you on how to guide the interviewee through the case.
See below, for a question addressing Entrepreneurial drive, hints for the candidate to tailor a good answer.
Tell me about a time you took the initiative to start something
Kindly ask the candidate before starting to provide you with his/her CV. Get familiar with it for a minute, since it can be useful (1) to follow the story better -most of the times it will be reflected in the CV- and (2) to be able to ask clarifying and follow-up questions.
- Be structured, following STAR/PARADE methodology.
- Enrich the story with multiple data points, there are never too many!
- Numerical KPIs: to quantify impacts and better understand the data needed to follow the example.
- Non-numerical: equally important to understand the story and impacts achieved.
Problem and situation:
During my last year at University, I was leading the org. team for a renown national business case competition among +20 Spanish universities
Traditionally, the host University had covered for +80% of the cost. However, less than 12 months before the event, ours notified they could not cover any of the cost and only offer the facilities
In +25 years of history of the competition, it had never been cancelled or re-scheduled, which would have been a terrible reputational grievance for the University and the org. team
As the leader of the org. team, it was my responsibility to find a solution on time
I was the only freshman student in the team, the rest (5 students) of them were younger and less experienced than me, with no background in business or events preparation
I analyzed the expense budget to quantify much we would have to raise to close the financing gap, arriving at €8,000
I looked at the amount donated by other public sponsors (e.g., the Ministry of Education), and while we had some material donations, the largest cash donation was only €500
I concluded that getting these public sponsors to increase their contribution in such short notice would be almost impossible, since their expense budgets were already approved.
Hence, I decided to look for alternative means of fundraising:
- Private sponsorship: divided into:
- Consulting companies: I approached both tier 1 and tier 2 companies, asking for donations in exchange of publicity
- Local SMEs whose owners were in the University´s network, asking for donations in exchange of being able to pick some of the topics of the competition, that could later be leveraged by their business plans
- Participants crowdfunding: given that there were more subscriptions than teams that could participate, I created a crowdfunding initiative to “earn” a spot in the competition. Like this, teams would defray their own expenses, that encompassed +20% of the total budget
Result & impact
We managed not only to cover for the budget shortfall, but raise 100% of the initial estimated cost:
- Crowdfunding initiatives raised €2,000, as well as generating great free publicity. Furthermore, participant´s satisfaction was highest among editions (NPS of 4.7 vs. 4.5 max), and most students indicated the previous crowdfunding activities as a great addition vs. previous years
- Consulting companies donated €7,000, as well as providing us with better branding and offering +25% of top participants job offers
- Local SMEs donated €2,000
Personally, it was a great leadership experience, not only facing a challenge against the clock but also having to coordinate a team towards a stretched goal. My key learning was the importance of understanding the motivations of each of the stakeholders (in this case, potential donors), to be able to bargain and offer something of their interests too
*See Graph 3-4 : Suggestion on question delivery and timings for each part of the STAR/PARADE framework
➥ Graphs from the Integrated FIT Guide for MBB
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