Top-performing trio win big in global business competition

This year’s competition saw just under 6,000 students take part from 150 universities in 78 countries across six continents. Out of the 1,277 teams participating, Will Boud, Krystian Mlodziejewski and Raashi Patel placed in the top 45 winning teams.

X-Culture is an optional assignment for final-year students on marketing courses to compete in virtual teams, create a report for live clients and gain international business experience before graduating.

Will’s team produced a plan to help a brewery in the South of France expand into new markets and different regions.

The 23-year-old from Devon said: “The X-Culture project is designed to bring students together form universities across the world. My team spanned the globe as I was working with students from the USA, Mexico and Russia. It was certainly a challenge to communicate across time zones and work out everyone’s skills and talents remotely.”

Will completed a placement year in London with a creative technology agency as part of his degree.

“I feel really fortunate that DMU has offered us opportunities that aren’t available at every other university. My placement year company only recruits placement students from DMU, and only three universities in the UK participate in X-Culture, so these are really distinctive things to add to my CV,” he said.

“I want to progress into consultancy in the future, so gaining direct consultancy experience through my placement year and taking part in this competition is a great stepping-stone to achieve that goal.”

Raashi was ‘over the moon’ when her team’s project to expand a Colombian business internationally was ranked as a winning entry.

She said: “It was a really interesting experience and I enjoyed learning from other students and gaining a new viewpoint on marketing and business.

“The competition wasn’t affected by the pandemic as it was all conducted virtually, so it’s actually given me more experience of working in teams remotely and some additional preparation for joining the workplace.”

For the competition, Business and Marketing student Krystian worked with students from Botswana, the Netherlands, China and the USA.

The 21-year-old from Poland said: “Winning was a remarkable achievement that I feel extremely proud of.

“The biggest motivation to participate was the self-development opportunities X-Culture provides. I knew I wanted to take on the role of team coordinator to improve and test my leadership and organisational skills.

“It was also a chance to enhance my CV and gain some new perspectives by working in a highly diversified team.”

Alongside the students’ success, senior lecturer in marketing Ellie Hickman was named one of just 30 tutors given the Best Instructor Award in recognition of going the extra mile to support her students.

Ellie said: “I’m incredibly proud to have received this recognition and it just goes to show that even during a global pandemic, great things can be achieved virtually with the right preparation and commitment.

“I’d also like to extend special thanks to the incredible efforts of the DMU students that performed so well. I wouldn’t have gotten this recognition without their diligence.”