Avril, Jasmine, JingYi, Vanessa , Diploma in International Business, Class DIB/FT/2B/02.
We were excited when an email from the University of Brawijaya informed us that we beat 182 other teams from ASEAN to enter the finals of the Espriex Business Model Competition. The Espriex International Business Model Competition is open to tertiary students in the region to submit their business models, based on the theme ‘Creative Business for Shaping the Future of ASEAN’. Our submission for the competition was an electronic business card mobile application. Although it was our examination period, we unanimously agreed to head to Indonesia as we thought it would be a meaningful journey. We were right!
The 3-day trip helped us as International Business students to understand the need to communicate and appreciate a foreign culture. One barrier we faced was communication. For example, during the question and answer session in our presentation, we could not comprehend the questions the judges posed due to their accents, and had to decipher the questions by identifying key words. This was certainly a dampener but the upshot was that we grasped the importance of preparing ourselves before participating in such competitions in foreign countries.
We immersed ourselves in the rich Indonesian culture - food and the arts. At the welcome dinner hosted by the University, we were served their local cuisine accompanied by a traditional Indonesian performance. We had ample opportunity to network with participants from countries like Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia. Although we were competitors, that did not stop us from developing a healthy camaraderie. This proved to us that as important as a competition may be, it is the relationships that matters. Such relationships may benefit us in our future endeavors.
We were placed 5th in the competition. But more than the rankings, the experience was worth more than the prize money which no classroom in the world can replicate. This trip was of great benefit to us. As International Business students, we hope to receive more opportunities in the future.