IBA represents Pakistan at 3M's global "Invent a New Future" Challenge

At 3M, we create new solutions and define what's next for the world.

A strong proponent of innovation, 3M kicked off its 3rd global "Invent a New Future Challenge" in January 2016 – a unique business case study competition that aims to empower university students with global exposure and provide a platform to kick start their professional careers. For the first time, Pakistan was competing on the forum against 13 other countries from around the world.

IBA represents Pakistan at 3M's global Invent a New Future Challenge

CDC facilitated the IBA student body not only by creating awareness of the competition, but by streamlining the application procedure for the competition and regular updates on its portal. A total of 400 applications were received from Pakistan alone, from which the best 12 were shortlisted and assessed on a national level at the 3M Karachi office through a day-long simulation. Up against a daunting task, Munira Ahmed (BBA Class of 2016) and Danish Ali (MBA Class of 2016) outshined as they won the national competition and went on to represent Pakistan, as part of the Top 20 participants in MENA region, at 3M's Gulf head office.

The regional competition for MENA took place in Dubai at 3M's glorious Head office. A total of 20 participants took part, out of whom only 2 were to be selected to proceed to the 3M Global Head office in the United States. It was a 2-day roller coaster ride for the participants wherein they were randomly placed into groups and assigned to solve a case study over the span of next 7 hours and eventually present their solution to the top line management of 3M Company. IBA students, unfortunately or not, could not proceed to the next and final round of the competition but the experience and exposure that they gained (in their words) in the two days was unparalleled nonetheless. Moreover, being among the 20 Top participants in the entire MENA region is in itself an accomplishment to be proud of.

Here's what Munira had to say about her exhilarating experience:

Considering that it was a huge global competition, what did you have in mind when applying?

George S Patton rightfully said "Accept the challenges so you can feel the exhilaration of victory." Challenges excite me! It was hence the challenging nature of 3M case study competition that compelled me to apply. I have an optimistic, problem-solving attitude to everything complicated. Perhaps it was this ability to see a beam of hope and think inventively in times of absolute desperation that was immediately spotted by 3M.

IBA represents Pakistan at 3M's global Invent a New Future Challenge

Moreover, the timing of the competition was perfect. A time right before graduation, I believe, plays the most crucial role in shaping the career that follows. Being selected for this competition meant earning personalized mentorship that would not only help me figure out a possible career path but also guide me on how best to contribute to the business arena by reshaping the dynamics of it.

IBA represents Pakistan at 3M's global Invent a New Future Challenge

What value, in your capacity, did you bring to the competition?

Diversity and Ambition – an ambition to bring a change. The fact that I was from Pakistan, I brought an implicit cultural diversity to the pool of selected participants. A diversity that I hope reflected positively in my ways of tackling with different problem situations while solving the case study, but more importantly I brought an ambition. A drive, to change the world in one's individual capacity. And I think my motivation coupled with that of other extremely capable individuals, extenuated this feeling and contributed to innovation, an invention, a change encompassing the world, fulfilling and complementing the scope of 3M.

How would you sum up your experience at 3M?

The two-day experience at their Gulf head office was everything that 3M promised and much more. I was the youngest amongst the many incredible and experienced participants that came from all over the region. I got the chance to interact with the most credible of minds from across the world; winning or losing ultimately becomes secondary in importance, to the experience I gained through a global interaction of the sort. Having traveled abroad for both my studies and international competitions, I have come to realize that no experience can come close to the experience and learning one gains from an interaction with like-minded individuals from across the world, looking to make a difference in the most exemplary of ways. I hope I have inspired others in this process of cross inspiration.