A team of students studying Accounting BSc Honours at the University of Westminster have been awarded the shield for winning the IBM University Business Challenge (UBC), one of the most recognised undergraduate business competitions.
The UBC is the world’s longest running simulation-based online competition for undergraduates, which is designed to develop all the skills necessary to start and develop a new business, including creativity, presentation and pitching skills, business strategy, investment and marketing decisions.
Nearly 30,000 students worldwide have benefitted from participating in the UBC. The competition involves three challenging rounds, competing with over 250 university teams. Following their win, the University has joined the prestigious UBC hall of fame alongside past winners including the University of Glasgow, University of London, and Cambridge University.
The winning team consisted of Divya Murti, Aklak Uddin, Satya Shekhar, Fathimath Zuruwath Zareer, Mohamed Zahy Zareer. The awarding shield was physically presented to the students as part of a socially distanced ceremony which was accompanied by a presentation given online by Deborah Cardwell from Learning Dynamics and Elle Davison from IBM.
Talking about the competition, Karen Kufuor, Principal Lecturer from the School of Organisations, Economy and Society and team mentor, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed mentoring the team. We had a few face-to-face meetings ahead of the semi-finals, but I really got to know the team during the semi-finals weekend in Edinburgh. That’s when it hit me how special these students actually are, each bringing a unique quality to the team. I especially loved the way they interacted with one another. Their genuine friendship and respect for each other’s views kept them in great stead throughout the competition, and I think that’s what makes them such a unique and successful team.
“This was the third Westminster team to make it to the finals and three of the team members had made it to the semi-finals in 2018. This year, they came back stronger and that amazing drive, determination and their comradeship saw them through to a win.”
Team Leader Satya Shekhar added: “Thanks to the University of Westminster for putting their trust in our team and supporting us throughout the process. From getting us in the competition to booking our trip for the semi-finals in Edinburgh, this victory would not have been possible without the University's help. Furthermore, we would like to express our deep gratitude towards Karen, who has been an inseparable part of our journey. Karen has supported our team for the last 3 years and she radiates unmatched liveliness which kept us motivated throughout the competition.
“Furthermore, we would like to thank IBM and Learning Dynamics for running the University Business Challenge which gives university students a chance to compete and hone skills. The simulation and structure of the competition is very interesting and pushes an individual to think out of the box. The tasks also improved our team chemistry over time and we are taking so many memories back home from this journey.”
Reflecting on the highlights of the competition, Aklak Uddin commented: “Unlike the group stage the semi-finals was face to face and more intensive. I remember we cut our lunch short to rehearse our pitch. It paid off as we won best pitch and bagged a spot in the Grand finals.”
For Fathimath Zareer, the highlight was winning the Grand finals. She said: “We are so happy to realise our dream and for what we have achieved for our University and we hope that our story will inspire more students to come out of their comfort zone and aim for excellence.”
Find out more about the winning team’s journey on the Westminster Business School blog.
Learn about Accounting and Finance courses offered at the University of Westminster.