Silver finish for BBA alumnus Chris Velasco at cross-cultural business competitionJul 17, 2012
Brainstorming into the wee hours of the morning with students from across the globe helped BBA alumnus Chris Velasco achieve a prestigious silver finish in a unique international enterprise competition.
He recently took part in the Global Enterprise Experience Competition, an international business competition which develops students’ skills in managing across cultures and time zones by placing them in teams with students from other universities across the globe.
Velasco, who graduated from SFU shortly after the conclusion of the competition, was teamed with students from New Zealand, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Rwanda. The team’s proposal of a Global Dialogue Network was one of five in a field of 90 teams to earn the ANZ Highly Commended Team Report Award.
“The Global Enterprise Experience Competition was a great challenge and allowed me to experience working across different time zones and cultures around the world,” said Velasco. “Through my experience working with the other students, I saw first-hand that the Beedie School of Business provides a world-class business education. Students at SFU often take for granted the education we receive here, but this competition confirmed for me how lucky we are to study at SFU.”
Hosted this year in New Zealand by Victoria University and the University of Otago, the competition ran for three weeks in April and May, with the winners announced in June. Teams were asked to produce a business concept proposal for a profitable product or service that links developed or developing countries for mutual benefit.
Teams were encouraged to draw upon the diverse world views, skills and perspectives of their team members. The different time zones and circumstances of Velasco’s team mates posed various problems, and he was forced to communicate with his team by email, Facebook and instant messenger.
“I had to sacrifice a proper sleep pattern for weeks in order to make myself available to talk with my team members,” said Velasco. “I often found myself lying in bed late at night, trying not to fall asleep while I typed messages to someone on the other side of the world.”
Velasco was last year selected as one of only 125 students worldwide to attend the Daimler World Dialogue in Germany, and it was his experience there which provided him with the inspiration for the team’s proposal.
“I have long been passionate about global social responsibility and social change and my time in Germany inspired me to create something that would be of help to developing nations,” he said. “The proposal of a Global Dialogue Network which we created was something close to my heart, and I hope to explore the possibility of making it a reality in the future.”
Velasco has competed in several case competitions before, most notably representing SFU at the Milgard Invitational Case Competition on Social Responsibility at the University of Washington.
“The experience I gained from the previous competitions I participated in was invaluable in writing our proposal,” he said. “The SFU community is excellent at providing the support to overcome all challenges and the quality of my education was evident throughout my dealings with my team mates. I was honoured to represent Canada, and most especially SFU at the competition.”