09 Sep, 2020
10 : 00
From August 1–5, six YCIS Shanghai schoolmates and I participated in the ASDAN Business Simulation Open Tournament in Songjiang, Shanghai, and it was the highlight of my summer.
Some classmates and I had previously participated in another business competition last November, which was very enjoyable. When we learned about the Open Tournament, we decided to join. We thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to apply our economics and business knowledge, and a productive way to spend the summer.
The competition consisted of ‘operation rounds’ and presentations. Operation rounds involved simulations where we, acting as companies, engaged in production, aiming at earning the most profit. Presentations ranged from brand crisis and press announcements to rebranding campaigns. It was challenging, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world. Time pressure was always high, and it encouraged us to improvise and take risks at times, for better and for worse. During operation rounds, we took many risks that ultimately did not pay off, but collaborating on the presentation projects was exciting. Eventually, our efforts resulted in medals — two rounds in a row!
For the first presentation, our designer clothing company, MINT, faced an environmental brand crisis and was tasked with making a public apology. While we won the round, our presentation was cut short due to the time limit, and the judge said we needed to be more confident. With the second task, we were much more efficient with allocating duties to each member. A classmate and I focused on the calculations for an operation round, while the others rehearsed the presentation. Not only did we finish precisely within the time limit, but the judge also praised our team’s persuasive elevator pitch! Nothing compares to the satisfaction of getting first place after staying up until 4 am brainstorming, rebranding action plans, and making split-second decisions on whether the logo looks minimalistic enough (spoiler alert: it does).
There were also various social events, where I made new friends from all over China. Despite having known some of my teammates for several years, I’m grateful I was able to form closer bonds with them through meaningful night-long conversations.
This experience was highly valuable as it taught me the importance of communication and critical thinking — both useful skills one needs anywhere in the world. I know this is something I will reflect upon fondly and treasure for a very long time.
By Hayley, with contributions from Ann and Mary, all Year 13, YCIS Pudong Secondary