The popular opinion at universities in Serbia is that academic knowledge is good enough to prepare students for what comes after their degree – a job. However, practical experience and learning through real life examples is crucial for students so that they can actually understand what their future jobs will be like and to be ready to adapt to a work environment. This is essential for the future success of students, especially when it comes to fields like management and IT. In such fields learning theory without connecting to the real business world and actual business problems is pointless. For these reasons, the case study methodology has been actively used in universities for years.
The Faculty of Organizational Sciences has become a pioneer in incorporating this methodology in the university curriculum and brought an important innovation into the traditional way of education in Serbia. With the initiative of PhD Vesna Damnjanović, this innovation has become incorporated not only in regular lectures but also in extracurricular activities. As a result, the best students have an opportunity to compete at business case study competitions at a global level. The biggest success is the founding of a global business case study competition for students – Belgrade Business International Case Competition (BBICC) in 2013. This year will be the seventh time BBICC is being organized in Belgrade by the Faculty of Organizational Sciences and a student management consulting organization – Case Study Club. BBICC is ranked in the top 10 case study competitions in the world based on the criteria set by the University of Auckland, a pioneer in the case study methodology.
What is a case study?
“Case study is an interactive method of learning and its roots come from the Harvard University. It is used in different fields such as science, medicine and law and we apply it to business. How does that work? A case study is actually a problem or a challenge of a big company, a small business or even an NGO. Those challenges are put before students and teh students have to act as decision makers. They analyse data, identify problems and give suggestions.” – states PhD Vesna Damnjanović, the founder and general manager of BBICC and a mentor for the case study methodology at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences and Case Study Club.
Belgrade, a city that will bring together young bright business minds from all around the world
In April teams from countries all over the world such as the USA, Australia, Canada, Russia, Switzerland, China, Thailand and others will compete in Belgrade. A Serbian team, made of students from the Faculty of Organizational Sciences will also compete against the other teams. Apart from case cracking and the competitive part of BBICC, participants will have a chance to see Belgrade and learn about Serbian culture and traditions.
The success of FOS students in competitions
The idea behind having a competition like this in Belgrade came from the success that Faculty of Organisational Sciences students achieved while competing in case study solving with students from the most prestigious Universities and business schools from all over the world. Just some of that success, under the mentorship of PhD Vesna Damnjanovic was: first place at the global University of Navarra International Case Competition in Pamplona; Spain in March of 2015, first place at the global BI International Case Competition in Oslo, Norway in February of 2016; first place at the global McGill Management International Case Competition in Montreal, Canada in March of 2016; third place at the global FEP U. Porto International Case Competition in Porto, Portugal in October of 2016; finalists at the global CBS Case Competition in Copenhagen, Denmark in February of 2018; first place at the global Unilever Future Leaders’ League in London, United Kingdom in April of 2018; finalists at the global L’Oréal Brandstorm competition in Paris, France in May of 2018; regional winners at the Unilever Future Leaders’ League in Bucharest, Romania in February 2019 which secured the team a place in the finals in London in April this year. Besides the success that they achieve on the global level, Faculty of Organisational Sciences regularly score positive achievements on the national and regional level.