Our journey to first place at the SAF Strategy Competition

Wednesday, September 6, 2023
by Carol, Mahek, and Helen (AFM students)

Three elements that helped us succeed

After competing in several case competitions together, our team decided that the SAF Strategy Competition was an amazing opportunity for us to apply our skills at home in Hagey Hall.

For this year’s competition, we were tasked with developing creative strategies to help Tesla stay ahead in the electric vehicle (EV) market. With such an ambitious ask, our team took advantage of the room for creative freedom and presented a three-pronged strategy to tackle this challenge: addressing current issues in Tesla’s customer journey, launching a new brand to compete with lower-cost EVs, and establishing a strategic partnership with a rideshare company to drive further product awareness.

Full body shot of Carol, Mehek, and Helen

As we reflect on our experience participating in the competition, we believe that there were three elements that helped us succeed:

1. Understanding the problem: Beyond the facts presented to us in the case, we made sure that we developed a thorough understanding of Tesla’s business and its challenges by conducting our own external research. By doing so, we were able to pinpoint Tesla’s exact problems, which served as a starting point for our ideas and recommendations.

2. Thinking outside the box: From past competition experience, we knew that having creative ideas is what separates “good” presentations from “great” presentations. As such, we spent time brainstorming and validating ideas to land on strategies that were both unique and feasible to include in our pitch.

3. Working together as a team: We began participating in competitions together in first year, which made the experience fun and helped to build our team dynamic. Additionally, we knew that each of us brought a different skill set that we gained from extracurricular, co-op, or classroom experiences, which allowed us to take ownership of and excel in different parts of our presentation.

Overall, our team was grateful for the opportunity to present our ideas to our peers, as well as to a panel of alumni from consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Consulting Group (BCG). We also had a great time working together to refine our ideas. We would highly recommend the SAF Strategy Competition to anyone interested in applying their skills to a real-world problem