Cerebration 2013: Bigger, Better and Bolder!

As an organizing committee member of one of the largest student-run MBA Case competitions happening on November 13-14, you might be wondering why am I writing this blog post when I should be busy finalising event details.

I felt the need to update you all and give you a peek into all the hype about Cerebration 2013. For those of you who still don’t know what Cerebration is (is there anyone who still doesn’t know?), Cerebration is the largest student-run MBA case competition organised by MBA students of NUS Business School. MBA student teams from all over the world compete to solve challenging business cases submitted by world leading organizations. After two qualifying rounds, top nine semi-finalist teams are flown to Singapore (with all-paid expenses). One winner is selected from top three final teams by judges and awarded SGD $10,000.

So, what is so special about this year’s Cerebration?

First off, we have a very impressive line-up of events mixed with networking opportunities for the participating teams with top executives of sponsor companies, the School’s faculty and students. For the semi-finals (to be held on Nov 13th) and finals (to be held on Nov 14th), nine teams selected across each of the three cases of the competition are being flown into Singapore.


Secondly, while each year Cerebration only selects top six teams to come to Singapore to compete in semi-finals, this year, the quality of submissions and calibre of participating teams were so outstanding, that we’re inviting nine teams to Singapore – first time ever in the history of the competition! Our sponsors and judges have been truly impressed. And as for rest of us, we love to host and welcome the best brains of business education in the world for some intense, healthy competition!

Thirdly, this year, we also have more diverse teams participating from regions as far as Latin America and as close as Singapore itself. Year on year, increasingly we have seen a sharp rise in schools across Europe, the Americas and more recently the middle-east becoming loyal participants in the competition. This year also, several new emerging markets were represented, such as Turkey, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc. This is clearly going to be one hell-of-a-competition!

Finally, we organised a “A Minute to Spin It” social media contest asking contestants to submit a one minute elevator pitch as a YouTube video. We got some amazingly cool responses, check them out here.



Stellar team work

It wouldn’t be fair if I don’t mention my peers in the organising committee, so you know who the stellar team is, behind all this hard work (that, and I do have to work with them you know). The experience of organizing an event at such a large scale, during my MBA, far has been a vivid kaleidoscope of learning and pure mayhem, all pulled together by my NUS MBA peers who share a very passionate vision to carry this event though to higher levels of success than each previous edition.

Alejandro Uribe, our student lead for Cerebration 2013, offers his very astute project management skills, while Marie Cheong pulls in her operational and consulting expertise to successfully develop corporate relationships. Monica Ochua, our resident financial expert, keeps the competition running on a well-planned budget (she holds most power as you can imagine :)) as well as leads the marketing efforts with her creativity. Besides the core team, we have been supported by a very talented group of people: Prabodh Shahi, who supports our corporate sponsor needs; Ajay Kamath, who supports the case-writing process; Saima Hamidi and Nisha Urs, both of whom manage the operations of the judging process; Jhilmil Nag, who supports digital media; Elaine Huipin, who leads the volunteers support and Sarah Court and Bruno Marmo who are in-charge of the final day events on November 13 and November 14.

My final words to all the readers of this blog post: Cerebration 2013 promises to be bigger, bolder and better than all its previous years. Each year we strive very hard to raise the bar of the competition, by finding the right corporate sponsors to share our vision to provide an equal opportunity to MBA students from all over the world, regardless of the school rank, popularity or location, to showcase their creativity and business acumen.

We wish all our semi-finalists all the very best for the competition in Singapore! We’ve gathered memories of a life time through this experience and we hope you do too!


Saiveer Joneja is a full-time NUS MBA student and one of the organisers of Cerebration 2013. To know about how you can take part in all the action on Cerebration 2013, connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages of Cerebration or drop a note at cerebration@nusmba.biz



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