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During the fifth Future Leaders Fundraising Challenge, the new Full-Time MBA students continued WHU’s successful support of Save the Children by raising €21,613.
The start of the Full-Time MBA Program at WHU certainly isn’t a quiet one. Day one of the program and students find themselves in the midst of the Future Leaders Fundraising Challenge, WHU’s iconic start to the MBA. From 9 – 13 April, the new students faced five daily competition challenges in support of fundraising for Save the Children.
Designed by Professor Dr. Jochen Menges in 2016, the Future Leaders Fundraising Challenge provides students with valuable leadership experience right from the very beginning of their time at WHU. With mentors and comprehensive feedback every day, both within the teams and from the panel of judges, students evaluate their own performance and that of their peers as the week progresses. It’s not just teambuilding, it’s a challenge that equips students with skills and experience they can continue to develop over the course of their studies.
In a slight deviation from previous years, students turned an existing product of little value into something of greater value, challenging their creativity, storytelling, and teamwork. Provided with products such as tissues, bottled water, or bracelets, the teams had to devise packaging and a compelling message to trade them on the streets of Düsseldorf in return for donations. Each day brought a new task - product sourcing and branding, marketing and point of sale, distribution, and negotiations - and a new student leader.
The members of the winning group this April were Christian Baumgertel, Hozefa Kutiyanawala, Arthur Kux, Tianshu Ma, and Cornelius Steele, who formed the team St. Fund Star. Despite coming bottom in the challenge on the first day, the group upped their game and by the final three days were scoring top points each day. Their product, a refreshment package of bottled water and sweets, was simple but their captivating storytelling and strong teamwork impressed judges and members of the public alike. Mid-week, the teams hit the streets of Düsseldorf and Cologne to trade their product and St. Fund Star motivated people to donate to the cause, sometimes without even getting their product in return. On the final day of the challenge, teams had the opportunity to practice their pitch skills by negotiating a donation to Save the Children with company representatives of UPS, PwC, and CHEP Deutschland.
An electric and exciting start to the MBA Program, the Future Leaders Fundraising Challenge highlights the entrepreneurial and creative spirit that makes up the core of WHU. It’s clear our new students have certainly got what it takes to excel in the WHU community.