Confidence and hard work lead to competition final

Three international students from Aarhus BSS are warming up for the international final of the L'Oréal case competition. It takes place in Paris on 30 June this year.

2016.06.23 | Julia Rolsted Stacey

Ghina Filiana (right), Alfan Rezani og Ha Kim Nhan (left). Photo: Julia Rolsted Stacey, Aarhus BSS Communication.

In the spring of 2016, three international students from Aarhus BSS signed up for the case competition L'Oréal Brandstorm. This year’s assignment was to develop a digital solution for branding a skin care product. The Brandstorm is an annual international event. 45 teams from all over the world will attend, and the winning prize is a travel voucher of EUR 10,000.

“Taking part in a case competition is a great experience,” says Ghina Filiana. She is one of the three case members and studies ‘Strategy Organisation and Leadership’. The other two team members are Ha Kim Nhan and Alfan Rezani, who study ‘Finance and International Business’ and ‘Marketing’ respectively.

The team was composed close to the application deadline.  According to Ha Kim Nhan, they came up with the solution for the case quite quickly, but it has required a lot of hard work to achieve a well-thought result. The team has worked extremely hard since March and has put a lot of energy and effort into the project. They worked long effective days instead of dividing their work into many shorter meetings. In short, their business case is about how to recruit millennials by using digital innovations to develop a marketing campaign. In between meetings, they mostly met on Skype.

Being different has been a strength

The team call themselves ‘Team SuperFantastisk’. It is a great name for a team consisting of two members from Indonesia and one from Vietnam. They had a great cooperation — but it has been a challenge to complete the case competition with team members from three different degree programmes who also have different starting points and opinions about how to work and how to prepare a case. However, according to Ghina Filiana, although their individual strengths are very different, this actually became a strength in itself.

“Alfan is great at questioning ideas, Kim Nhan is good at communicating and is sharp when it comes to putting things in writing, and I collect material and put everything together.”

They also characterise themselves as constructive and open for feedback and see these specific strengths as part of the reason for their success. They advise other students to join case competitions and to bring the following characteristics into their casework:

  • To be open-minded
  • To listen to feedback
  • To push yourself beyond boundaries
  • To challenge your case-mates
  • To have an ambitious goal

Lessons learned

When answering the question, ‘What have you learned and what can you bring on to another case competition?’ Alfan Rezani’s response comes quickly and confidently:

“I have learned that it is important not to underestimate yourself.”

All three team members can only recommend participating in case competitions.

“It is a great experience. A company case teaches you to use your theoretical knowledge in practice, and this is very rewarding,” says Ha Kim Nhan.

Coaching during the whole process

Ghina Filiana, Ha Kim Nhan and Alfan Rezani used a friend as advisor. He especially gave them feedback when they rehearsed for the Nordic final. In addition, Jane Midtgård Madsen from Aarhus BSS Career & Alumni has supported the team during the process, and they received coaching sessions from L’Oreal. In addition, they got input and feedback from fellow students.


  • L'Oréal Brandstorm is a business competition
  • 80,000 international students have participated since the first competition in 1992
  • A business case is handed out every year. In 2016, the teams were given a skin care brand and had to develop a digital market solution. Read more here