By Dr. Olga Kandinskaia

Practical learning has become so much more important in the post-Covid business management education.

By using corporate live case projects at the Cyprus International Institute of Management (CIIM), we offer a challenging and effective learning process that today’s students both expect and need – a learning process in a real-life context and with real-life complexities.

Each year, CIIM’s Master of Science in Business Management (MBM) runs a Corporate Live Case Project as part of our ‘Learning by Doing’ teaching philosophy. This year, the Live Case Project was organised in cooperation with Top Kinisis, a leading travel agency in Cyprus. Competing student teams were challenged to provide market research, competition analysis and strategy recommendations for Top Kinisis Travel in the new post-Covid environment.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused dramatic macro-level changes and uncertainties in all sectors of the economy. We see the changes in the social contract: an emerging new standard for how, where, and when we work. A new level of unpredictability in financing sources and uses means that companies need to plan for wide variations in financial position.

We also observe now a permanence of customer behaviour changes: a new cautiousness about health and a new level of digital engagement. Furthermore, our expectations for physical, emotional, financial, and digital safety have changed, thus organisations need to focus on understanding the fears that stakeholders are grappling with.

Out of all sectors of the economy, tourism has been hit the hardest by the pandemic. Doing a project for Top Kinisis, therefore, was both a test and practice for students’ capacity to be agile, innovative, flexible, and more creative than ever.

The Live Case Project 2021 started in February, and final presentations took place on April 9, in front of a committee comprised of managers from Top Kinisis. Due to Covid-related restrictions, all Project meeting and presentations were held remotely, but this was never an obstacle, and in fact increased the communication flow during the preparation.

“We were really impressed by all team presentations: they were of high professional level, every team had unique strong points, every team managed to raise very interesting issues and gave us valuable recommendations,” noted Elena Tanou, VP of Top Kinisis.

Ultimately, the experience of presenting recommendations directly to the company creates powerful incentives for students, and they go well above the regular effort of earning an academic grade.

Congratulations to the members of the three presenting teams:

  • Team 1: Angelina Chrysanthou, Chrystalla Demetriou, Efstathios Theofilou
  • Team 2: Dafni Kyriakou, Demetris Papadopoulos, Savvas Konstantinidis
  • Team 3: Andreas Theodotou, Nastasia Georgiade, Samuel Dikeh

The company selected Team 2 as the victors of the 2021 competition. We are happy to give our congratulations to the students of the winning team!

CIIM expresses its sincere appreciation to Top Kinisis for its collaboration and support toward the business education process.

Dr. Olga Kandinskaia is Associate Professor of Finance and Director of the MBM – MSc in Business Management at CIIM – Cyprus International Institute of Management. She is a recipient of Cyprus Education Leaders Awards 2020 for her innovative “Learning by Doing” method in the CIIM MBM programme. Email: [email protected].