I recently got engaged (Yay!!) and Mexico was part of the discussion for the bachelor party and honeymoon destination. Although we ended up selecting different locations – Jamaica and xxxxx (the honeymoon destination is a surprise) – for both, I still had the opportunity last weekend to visit Mexico. Sure it was not a honeymoon in Cancun but I had a terrific experience at the IPADE case competition that I participated in. And it was an all-expenses paid trip!
Details, you ask? I’d definitely be asking that question as a prospective, incoming or first-year Darden student and I would highly recommend trying to land a spot in the Darden contingent next year. Every year, IPADE, the leading business school in Mexico, hosts a case competition at its Mexico City campus. Several business schools from the States, Europe and Asia send two participants each to Mexico for three days. IPADE students from their Mexico City and Monterrey campuses are also part of the mix. The evening before the main event, participants are split into teams with students from different schools, nationalities and backgrounds commingled. This was a very interesting twist and different from the four other case competitions I have participated in during my time at Darden for which I always partnered with my classmates from school.
Beautiful IPADE campus – formerly a businessman’s mansion
We were given the case the following morning and had 18 hours to analyze and put together a deck with our solution. The event was sponsored by Deloitte and Novartis and the short turnaround was rough but something I was used to after participating in Deloitte’s case competition at Darden last year. Unfortunately, we did not win but I learned a lot not just about analyzing business problems but also about working collaboratively in a stressful environment with a group of individuals I had never met before.
My team at IPADE
After all the learning, it was time for some fun. Following the awards ceremony, all the participants were given a twelve hour tour of Mexico City by our wonderful hosts at IPADE. We walked around enjoying the beautiful architecture, shopped, ate delicious food and bonded over drinks at a couple of bars around the city. It was a great evening and here are a few glimpses of the city’s beautiful architecture:
Museum of Fine Art
A terrific experience overall and I can’t wait to go back to Mexico and visit other parts of the country!