DMU student is UK's only winner at global business competition

An International Marketing and Business student from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been named as the only British winner of the X-Culture global business competition.

More than 6,000 students from 171 universities across 47 different countries took part in the annual competition, with DMU’s Emily Le Ngoc being the only winner currently studying at a UK-based university.

Emily Ngoc

“I couldn’t quite believe it,” said Emily when she heard about her award. “There are hundreds of teams taking part, so I didn’t expect to be named in a winning team. It’s a great feeling to represent DMU in this way.”

X-Culture is an optional assignment for final-year university students on marketing courses across the world. Students compete in virtual teams and create a report for live clients, gaining international business experience in the process.

Read more about last year’s X-Culture success as three DMU students placed in winning teams

The 23-year-old from Leicester was teamed with students from France, Colombia and the United States. Together, over 10 weeks, they were tasked with analysing the marketing for American-based Advanced Superabrasives Inc (ASI) and producing a report that identifies potential new markets for the company to expand into.

After deliberating with her team, Emily took on the challenge to manage and coordinate the project, organising meetings across different time zones and assigning roles to her teammates.

Emily said: “I had never taken the lead on a project before X-Culture, but I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone, so I volunteered to take the lead in all the meetings and divide up the work based on my team’s skills and knowledge.

“Each week, we would come together and share our thoughts on how to improve ASI’s marketing position and social presence. I loved hearing everyone’s perspective on a problem and putting all our ideas together to get the best report possible for the client.

“There’s certainly some pressure because you want to do your best work for a real-world client and you’re juggling the project’s deadlines with your modules. As the project came together though, I could see how our hard work was paying off and with the support of DMU, I was able to stay organised and get the most out of my team.

“I’d certainly recommend signing up to X-Culture if you get the chance. I’m still in touch with my team and I’ve gained more confidence in my leadership – a win-win.”

There was added success for DMU in this year’s competition as a senior lecturer and programme lead for the Marketing BA, Ellie Hickman, received the Best Instructor award for the second successive year.

Out of the 200 instructors, Ellie was named in the highest performing bracket, which is marked against 124 variables, and – much like Emily – is the only UK representative to appear on a winners list.

She said: “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that you don’t all need to be in the same country, or even continent, to deliver a great team project. 

“A lot of hard work goes into planning X-Culture into our curriculum, so I’m very humbled to receive this recognition. I must thank Emily and all the DMU students that took part and have worked so hard for this competition – I wouldn’t have won this without you.  

“There are usually multiple winners from the UK, so for Emily to be the only Brit to win out of 6,000 students is something that we as a university can be very proud of.”

Posted on Friday 11th February 2022

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