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In Case You Missed It: NorthWest Biotech Consulting Case Competition 2018

On Saturday the 9th of June 2018, students and professionals from the North West gathered in anticipation at the University of Manchester where the fourth edition of the Northern Biotech Consulting Case Competition (CCC) took place. This event brought together business professionals and PhD students from all over the North West for a full day of intense competition, creative problem solving and professional growth opportunities. It was a productive day for both competitors and non-competing participants, so no one in attendance was left out!

As consulting teams of 3 to 5 students and/or post docs, competing teams advised a fictional big pharma giant, “Daraga INC”, on the best strategy to help replenish its diminishing product portfolio. Five teams presented their final proposals in front of Daraga INC’s “Executive Board”, composed of Nick Proctor, Director at Adelphi Access, and Mariam Bibi, Senior Director at McCann Health Consulting.

The morning kicked-off with a welcome introduction from our NBI committee followed by an insightful talk from Charlie Hewitt from Remap Consulting who outlined key points about working in healthcare consultancy. From case to client, time management skills, travel opportunities, disadvantages and so much more!

Following the break, teams broke-out into individual rooms to start reviewing the case studies with their mentor and refine their proposal and pitch. This was an opportunity for teams to draw from the wealth of knowledge and expertise the mentors possessed, to ensure they were as well prepared as possible!

After lunch, teams returned to their individual rooms to continue preparing whilst non-competitors attended afternoon seminars. These began with Nick Proctor the Director at Adelphi Access, delivering a talk entitled “Consultancy Diversity” where he described his path into consulting followed by a lively Q&A session during which the audience gained a glimpse of the planned and as well as unexpected routes into consultancy. Later, attendees explored the “Consultancy Carousel”, which comprised of 3 key stations: the CV Clinic lead by Proctor, Market Access lead by Fatima Chunara from Remap Consulting, and Real World Evidence lead by Mariam Bibi from McCann Health.

Around 3pm everyone gathered in the main room. The NBI committee welcomed everyone once more, whilst introducing our guest judges and competing teams. Each team one by one were called up to pitch which case they believed Daraga INC should merge with or acquire. You could see that each team had spent time critically analysing each case and had completed extensive research. However, as we ALL know, there can only be ONE winner.

Following some deliberation amongst the judges, the winning team was “Bionebula” who were awarded a fantastic £1000 in prize money.

Bionebula were made up of five scientists from the University of Manchester: Michael Smith (Cancer Research UK PDRA), Adam Pearson (Cancer Research UK PhD candidate), Andrew Badrock (PDRA), Cynthia Li (BBSRC DTP PhD candidate) and Daniel Wilcock (Manchester Cancer Research Centre PhD candidate).

Adam Pearson was also voted as best speaker by the audience, so went home with an additional prize of £100.

The runner up team was Prescience, and was made up of four students from the University of Manchester’s Biotechnology and Enterprise MSc: Daniel Oldham, Pinja Hartikainen, Guadalupe Alvarez Gonzalez and Callum Shaw. They were awarded £300.

The evening ended with Yein Nam delivering a talk called “A journey from academia to Adelphi,” she was a previous competition winner and is now working at Adelphi. It was certainly a talk many could relate to and draw wisdom from.

Winning Team: Bionebula

From left to right: Michael Smith, Andrew Badrock, Cynthia Li, Daniel Wilcock and Adam Pearson.


Finally, the day ended with a celebratory networking reception where attendees engaged with each other as well as consultants from Remap, Adelphi and McCann Health. The full-day event was not only a chance to earn some cash, but to build professional networks, collaborate with like-minded students and researchers, and learn more about consulting as a career directly from experienced professionals. Indeed, everyone went home with something to take away… ‘til next year! We want to say a HUGE thank you to our sponsors: Adelphi, Remap Consulting and Manchester Enterprise Centre (MEC) for their help in making this event possible.


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