【ITC2021】The competition that Changed Me
FedEx Express/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge 2021（以下、ITC 2021）の国内大会でTOP3に入賞し、日本代表として国際大会に出場された高校生のR.B.さんがこのコンテストでの学びについて記事を書いてくださいました。
International Trade Challengeの概要はこちら
Nervousness, confidence, and excitement—the International Trade Challenge (ITC) not only provided me with a spectrum of emotions but also an assortment of challenges. Before participating in the ITC, I lacked confidence and often felt an awkward barrier when meeting new people. However, the ITC changed all of this, ranging from my personality to my knowledge.
Unlike the regional ITC, the Asia Pacific Finals randomly selected our partner from a foreign country, meaning that we had to familiarize ourselves with each other within the short three days. Although knowing that I was reserved created fear inside me, it also forced me to leave my comfort zone.
Before participating in the ITC, I would have difficulty talking to new people since my introverted self would prevent me from talking. Since the competition was held online, I understood the importance of communication and stepping out of my comfort zone to communicate smoothly with my partner.
Once the ITC Asia Pacific finals topic was revealed, our team spent the first half of the day finding a viable and unique product. Hours passed, and I repeatedly took a deep breath and pinched the bridge of my nose; finding an idea that we both agreed on was more challenging than anticipated. Once we found our vision and created our product, we both used our communication skills as an advantage to split our parts depending on our strengths and weaknesses. (The picture below shows my team's product that we decided to propose on.)
While making the presentation, I learned a few simple yet important lessons. Firstly, we should use our strengths to the best of our ability while working together on our weaknesses. Before participating in the Asia Pacific ITC, I had no confidence nor knowledge about the financial section, but asking questions when needed and working through it with my partner, helped me learn and grow my knowledge and confidence.
Secondly, the importance of time management and taking breaks. Although having a short deadline may provoke us to work for hours straight, taking breaks is essential for freshening your mind and being productive. To sum up, the three main lessons, working on strengths/weaknesses, asking for help, and time management, helped our team significantly.
Apart from learning essential lessons while creating our slides, I also learned numerous lessons during the final presentation. Firstly, you should always answer a question confidently and not let your fear of failure prohibit you from responding. During the regional round, my fear of answering the question incorrectly prevented me from speaking up. Because of this, I noticed the importance of faking your confidence, which resulted in me answering numerous questions confidently during the finals. Additionally, I also grew immensely from the feedback each experienced judge gave.
Participating in ITC Asia Pacific Finals not only grew my business knowledge but also helped me value and understand the importance of the lessons mentioned above. The ITC Asia Pacific Finals was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of getting an authentic experience of being an entrepreneur and changing yourself for the better.
ITC 2021の国内大会の様子については、FedEx Expressのnoteにも記事が掲載されております。是非ご覧ください。