One of Australia’s biggest business competitions for school students is back for 2022, with registrations now open for the national QUT BlueShift high school business case competition.
The competition is open to students in Year 10, 11 and 12, who compete in teams of three or four to develop business solutions for a real company and vie for a $3000 cash prize for their school.
Past participants have come from cities and regions including Sydney, Newcastle, Bundaberg, Cairns, the Sunshine Coast, and northern New South Wales.
Entry is free, and up to two regional or interstate teams are also eligible for free flights to Brisbane and accommodation if selected as finalists.
Sudents have previously tackled business cases for Iglu, Virgin Australia, Burger Urge, RACQ, Australia Post and CareSuper.
This year’s mystery business case will be released on March 1, with written case submissions due on April 26. The final champion round will be held at QUT in Brisbane on May 21 in front of a panel of industry and QUT judges.
Co-organiser Ingrid Larkin, who is QUT Business School’s Associate Director of Work Integrated Learning, said the university was looking forward to the return of the event after a two-year break due to COVID restrictions.
“Almost 40 teams have already registered for the 2022 BlueShift, including teams from as far away as Western Australia, and we’d love to see schools from anywhere in the country take part,” she said.
“The competition enables students to develop and apply their skills to real-world cases in workplace-like teams, and network with fellow school students, QUT students and staff, and business industry professionals.
“The students develop real business skills including professional presentation, financial analysis and creative problem solving.
“Teams that sign up by February 28 can also take part in free virtual coaching sessions with QUT business students.”
Gold Coast siblings Camille Luchs (pictured top left) and Aidan Luchs (pictured top right) were part of the winning school team in 2019 who successfully pitched their business case for student accommodation provider Iglu.
They were both in Year 11 at the Queensland Academy for Health Sciences at the time – and both went on to start double degrees at QUT last year.
Camille is studying toward a Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Justice, majoring in policy & politics and international business, and Aidan is doing a Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Laws (Honours) with a management major.
“I decided to participate in BlueShift to put my high school business management studies into practice,” Aidan said.
“A career in business involves identifying opportunities and threats in the business environment and being able to pitch evidence-based recommendations … BlueShift provided an outstanding opportunity to begin developing and refining these skills before even beginning my studies at university.
“It gave me the confidence and skills needed to participate in business case competitions and extracurricular activities from my first semester at university, rather than waiting until the final years of my degree.
“The format of the competition also prepared me for the style of assessment used within the QUT Business School, which often involves pitching your solution to problems faced by real-world organisations.”
Camille said she had participated in BlueShift because she loved problem-solving.
“BlueShift challenged me to turn theory into practice, and I came away from the competition with a stronger ability to think critically and creatively about how organisations respond to market challenges,” she said.
Camille has enjoyed her first year of uni and said her double degree had enabled her to develop and explore interests in business ethics and public policy.
Her advice for high schoolers thinking of entering BlueShift this year was to “think outside the box”.
“I found that the judges took a particular liking to the ideas in our presentation that went beyond the requirements of the competition – no idea is too unrealistic,” she said.
BlueShift offers cash and prize packs for the top three finalists, including $3000 for the winning team's school and $250 for each team member. The event also gives away a $2000 QUT scholarship and $800 worth of QUTeX professional development courses for the winning school's teacher.
The QUT Business School team organising this year’s event includes Ms Larkin, Professor Larry Neale, and Associate Professor Stuart Tooley.
Full entry details and competition advice and resources for the QUT BlueShift high school business case competition are available online from the QUT Business School.
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