Networking through business competitions | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 06, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 06, 2018

Networking through business competitions

Every year, a plethora of business competitions take place in Bangladesh. These are based on fields such as marketing, finance, sales, research, economics, etc. and they test various skills through multiple rounds. While these competitions mostly lure students with the title and cash prize, they have many other unsung perks, networking being one of them.

I have spoken to Ifteker Mahmud and Tausif Ahmed, Champions of Brandwitz 2014 and 2016 respectively, and they think the networking occurs at 3 levels:

Corporate networking: Competitions like BAT's Battle of Minds or Unilever's BizMaestros are usually conducted and supervised by current employees who you might later face in job interviews. So it helps to make great impression and have an edge over other interviewees days before the actual interview date. Moreover, doing well in these competitions almost always guarantees an internship in relevant organisations. These opportunities aren't just limited to competitions that focus on recruitment. For example, all members of one of the finalist teams of last year's Brandwitz got job offers at a tech start up called Intelligent Machines. Even though the said team didn't win anything, their outstanding performance at the Grand Finale got them instant job offers.

Networking with celebrated personalities: Tausif Ahmed through his huge plethora of wins at many business competitions, got to meet with incredible people like Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Dr. Kamal Hossain, Professor Rehman Sobhan, Shykh Siraj, Ejazur Rahman and many other esteemed personalities including foreign ambassadors, university professors, local and foreign democrats and officials, and national and international scholars. These experiences of having meaningful conversations and interactions with some of the greatest minds of our time helped him gain priceless insights, experiences and exposure.

Networking with students of different universities: You'll continue to see familiar faces in all competitions, and some competitions even randomly pair up students from various universities. Ifteker Mahmud got to meet many talented individuals and make valuable links outside the restrictive bubble of his university. Ifteker now runs his own digital marketing agency called Purplebot Digital and he says these contacts that he made several years ago still come in handy sometimes.

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