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14.7.2020 | School of Business

«I gained the confidence to lead a project»

Credited as «informal team leader», FHNW student Tanpreet Kaur was the driving force behind her team being among the best projects of the 2020 X-Culture competition.

Out of 975 entries, only 28 projects submitted to the 2020 X-Culture competition were named «Best Teams». Among them was the team of Tanpreet Kaur who finished her Master’s in International Management this year. «Being awarded for the final report is a great feeling, not just because of the appreciation of others, but because it means that the report actually helped the company», she says.

In the X-Culture competition, business students from all around the world are randomly organised into teams with each team being assigned a real-life business case. Tanpreet’s team 55 was presented with evaluating market expansion strategies for the Singapore-based company Get Out! Events.

«I had to overcome challenges and difficulties, which helped me gain leadership skills. Now, I am confident enough to not only work on a project but to actually lead it.»

Tanpreet Kaur

After analysing different markets, their respective opportunities and challenges, Tanpreet’s team recommended an expansion to Hong Kong. To keep the expansion agile and lean, the team suggested entering the Hong Kong market with a virtual branch office, operating out of Singapore, with no physical infrastructure in Hong Kong at first. Tanpreet is eager to see what the company will make of her team’s report: «I would be more than happy if they really did it. It would mean that they recognised and appreciated our work.»

Organising a virtual global team

Together with Tanpreet representing the FHNW School of Business, team 55 brought together students from Canada, the US, the Netherlands and Italy – but in virtual spaces only.
This global teamwork offered some insights into different cultures and required a certain degree of flexibility. «You have to be aware of everyone’s time zone», says Tanpreet. «It’s important to find a time, at least for one call a week, when everybody is available. Communication is key. If you don’t keep in touch, you cannot deliver a high quality report.»

It was her attention to detail and her focus on quality that earned Tanpreet the title of «informal team leader». When she felt her team was struggling to meet the deadlines for the weekly deliverables, she took matters in her own hand. Her project credits include research, analysis, as well as report structure, design and writing. «I felt that I was working for a real company, so I had to do my best.»

International leadership skills

FHNW students can participate in the X-Culture competition as part of an elective module in the MSc in International Management. Tanpreet decided to take up the Master’s programme when she came to Switzerland from India six years ago. She had already obtained a degree in India, where she had been working as an operations manager.

«Coming to Switzerland, I had left my job in India and wanted to get back into the professional world. I found that I had to update my knowledge and skill set. I wanted to gain more international experience in order to find a job. The MSc in International Management is all about international exposure and real-life cases. It was a unique learning experience and the standards in teaching at FHNW are very high.»

Her success in the X-Culture competition made for a perfect highlight in her final semester: «In the X-Culture competition, I could incorporate everything I had learned before, like strategies for internationalisation, financial analysis and marketing tactics. I had to overcome challenges and difficulties, which helped me gain leadership skills. Now, I’m confident enough to not only work on a project but to actually lead it.»

Further information

Website X-Culture
Final report (PDF download)
Website MSc International Management