Goldstein Challenge and Winter Reunion

Thursday, 5 January 2017, 19:24 | Category : Business Game, Event, International Event, Masters, Masters in General Management, Vlerick Experience
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One of the great things about Vlerick is that you get to experience what a real life business case would look like. The Goldstein Challenge is where you get the first chance to really apply everything you learned until that moment. You are brought in as a consultant and together with your team you get to save the Goldstein Brewery from the brink of collapse in just four days’ time. Four whole days of ups and certainly a lot of downs, including a lot of frustrations and sleepless nights. However, in the end – when you finally get that awesome breakthrough that will crack the case – it was worth it.

The first day started off easy enough as the consultants from PWC explained the finer details of the case. The company’s Return on Capital Employed or ROCE had gone down from about 10% to 2,9%. As we found out over the duration of the challenge, there are many different pronunciations for ROCE (and not always very flattering ones). The next step was to figure out ourselves what (part of) the data was saying, to find the real issues and how we would solve these. Unfortunately, we would only get full access to the additional data and the data tool the next day.

The second day, things were getting spicier. We got a presentation on how to use the PWC data tool and some more information about the complete dataset. One catch though, the full data and its corresponding data tool would only be available from 9.30 till 23.45. While this might seem like plenty of time, believe me when I say there was a lot of data to go through and the pressure was on. Friendships and relationships were tested, but no blood was shed (only the occasional tear). Luckily, there were the Deliveroo guys who kept us going with some necessary Balls&Glory power food.

Over halfway, and the third day, everybody felt ready to take on the next part of the challenge: solving the problems that your team found the day before. In addition, you had to write out these solutions in a fully-fledged management report with your recommendations and make a presentation that would have to be presented before a panel of Vlerick professors and consultants of PWC. Not much sleep was gotten by anyone that night, but there was this glorious feeling when handing in that report you worked on so hard at 3.30 AM.

The next morning was filled with coffee and zombie-looking students. Nevertheless, we delivered a successful presentation in front of a jury, consisting of PWC representatives and Vlerick professors. A drink to celebrate the great survival of the Goldstein challenge was in order. And so we did.



In the afternoon, no classes were scheduled and students were graving for some sleep to be representable for the annual Vlerick Winter Reunion later that night. Key-note speaker Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, delivered an attention-grabbing speech on Digital Economy and Connectivity. After the speech, we were invited to the reception to network with Vlerick alumni. The open bar allowed us to blow of some steam from the intense quest we had been through that week.


We were rewarded with a well-deserved Christmas break to reload our batteries. However, at Vlerick there is no such thing as a long vacation. Deadlines and exams are scheduled right after the break, probably to make sure we are able to keep on with the pace of our program. But I guess this is part of the wonderful MGM-journey filled with challenges, time-pressure but also friendship and memorable experiences.

xmasparty xmaspartymgmghent

Thomas Longeval & Lise Coenen
MGM Ghent

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