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Linking Young Minds Together
  Volume 5 | Issue 48| December 18, 2011 |


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BOM Hits Campuses Again!

Fauzia Sultana

The BOM season is here once again. Battle of Minds or 'BOM' as they call it, is one of the most popular competitions among the undergrad students who aspire to have a career in business. With the aim to bridge the gap between corporate entities and educational institutions, British American Tobacco (BAT) has been organising this event since 2004. At the competition, students are faced with real life cases, where each team prepares, solves and presents a business case to a panel of judges from the corporate community. Over the years, the competition has evolved to include contemporary issues to provide a platform for talented individuals to display entrepreneurial acumen. Battle of minds thus enables potential graduates to prepare for the extremely competitive job market.

Courtesy: MASTHEAD

But what makes this competition so popular among the university students is that the winners are sometimes offered the opportunity to become part of BAT Bangladesh. At this point, 49 individuals who participated in BOM are working in BATB in different managerial positions.

The curious students at the interaction session. COURTESY: MASTHEAD

Battle of minds started in 2004 with only 5 teams and twenty contestants. In 2011, there are 14 participating universities, which signifies that the students are only becoming keener on grabbing their place in BOM. Starting with the pre-launch ceremony, BOM this season kicked off from October, where students from all corners of Bangladesh registered to be a part of this phenomenal competition.

After screening the best minds, the Road Show or 2nd stage of the competition was hosted on December 12, 2011. Though the show was segmented into various sessions, the highlights of the day long programme were the ice breaking session, the motivating speech by Syed Imtiaz Faruque, Head of Human Resource, BAT Bangladesh, and the individual assessment session.

Enthusiatic participants at the ice-breaking ceremony. COURTESY: MASTHEAD
The 'ice breaking' ceremony. COURTESY: MASTHEAD

After his inspirational speech, there was a lively interactive session between Syed Imtiaz Faruque and the participating students where questions regarding management skills, corporate responsibility and many more were answered. While Jyoti, a participant from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology shared her curiosity regarding how BAT manages to sell a product that ultimately harms people, another student from North South University asked how important CGPAs are. Advising the participants, Imtiaz said they have to be humble enough to learn from others, work hard and compete with oneself in order to excel in their career.

After the lively interaction and a hearty meal, the students finally faced the crucial segment of the event--individual assessment by BAT Bangladesh assessors. Each participant was given a real life case study that they worked on over a period of ten minutes. They then played the roles of consultants, negotiating with the judges who were playing the roles of company representatives. While some of the contestants were staring at the cases for minutes to simmer their ideas, others started scribbling their solution right away.

During the role play, the judges evaluated the students based on their leadership and engaging capabilities, their convincing capacity among others.

The winners of the second stage of BOM are: Dhaka University, BUET, East West University, Institute of Business Administration, Independent University Bangladesh, Jahangirnagar University, Khulna University and North South University.

BOM is about exposing students to a competitive platform that helps them get out of their cocoon and compete with the rest of the bright minds of the country. Through these competitions students learn to appreciate themselves and their potentials. And through this grooming, they are prepared and confident to face the competitive world of business.

Students meet Celebrities

Sumaiya Haque
Photos: Independent Film Club

November 21 was supposed to be a regular week day of the year for all the overworked and tensed students of Independent University Bangladesh (IUB). Semester was almost over and everyone was eagerly looking forward to the day when all the final exams will end and the holidays will begin. But a breeze of the holidays already passed over the students on that very day when the Independent Film Club (IFC) organised a fun filled event “Let's vibrate with the celebrities”.

The morning began with celebrities pouring into the IUB campus. Actors Mosharraf Karim, Tisha, Musafir Syed; Directors Kibria Sarwar Faruki, Redwan Rony and Adnan; Cinematographer Golam Mowla Nobir and Model Rawzat, were amongst the celebrity ensemble who entertained the students throughout the event. These celebrities also proved to be great inspiration to the students. Professor Omar Rahman, Vice Chancellor (in-charge) and GM Shahidul Alam, Head, Department of Media and Communication inaugurated the programme and soon the auditorium was crowded with students streaming in to get a glimpse of their favourite celebrities present on their campus.

Mosharraf Karim took over the stage immediately and grabbed the attention of the students with all his humour and wit. His speech was heartfelt where he congratulated the empowered audience holding them responsible for reviving the glory of Bangla drama and cinema. The students in turn questioned him, requested him to play certain roles from many of his popular characters. He did not disappoint any of them. This was soon followed by showcasing one of the recent productions of Kibria Sarwar Faruki titled, 'All about his mother'.

Later, the students and celebrities engaged in a lively adda. They opened their hearts' desires and the celebrities responded with equal amount of enthusiasm. Everyone needed to relax and what better way was there compared to just sitting back and enjoying yet another recent production by Kibria Sarwar Faruki, 'Bikroyer jonno nohe'.

Everything good comes to an end too quickly. But nevertheless, it was a much needed break from studies that gave the students a chance to begin afresh. Even the celebrities seemed to have lost track of time, being among such keen fans. The programme ended with a very promising notion where IFC announced the staging of “Let's vibrate with the celebrities Volume II” in Cox's Bazar on December 31.

(The author is a student of Media and Communication, IUB.)

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