ELTE GTK – AVANS hackathon in Budapest

ELTE GTK – AVANS hackathon in Budapest
A student highly recommends the Business Case Studies II course based on her experience with the innovative undertaking of the two universities.

Layla Gaziyeva, a second-year Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship student on the International Business Economics programme offered by ELTE Faculty of Economics, who is registered for the Business Case Studies II course in the current semester, gave the following account of her involvement in the course. She hopes that her positive experience will inspire others interested in novel ways to learn about economics, entrepreneurship, innovation, and problem-solving to complete the course next time it is offered.  

“A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to participate in Business Case Studies II, which is a 3-credit intensive course available at ELTE Faculty of Economics in the spring semester of every academic year that challenges students to develop innovative approaches to real-world business problems. It is a joint project between ELTE Faculty of Economics and AVANS University based in the Netherlands. Thus, by participating in this course, Hungarian and international students of ELTE GTK get a chance to work hand in hand with Dutch students on sustainable solutions to everyday problems. Not only did I gain knowledge about business, problem-solving, and teamwork, but I also made many amazing friends along the way. Our group had great team dynamics, and we worked together seamlessly throughout the whole 3-day hackathon

The project started with a short online preparatory phase during which we familiarised ourselves with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and a methodology called “Design Thinking” and made online contact with our future team members from AVANS University. 

At the beginning of the hackathon, which took place in Budapest at the beginning of April, we started with a fun case study to warm up with, which was a great way to get us thinking creatively and collaboratively. Then, we split into our earlier established 9 groups of 5-6 students each, and then each group had to come up with a problem they wished to tackle as relevant to issues present in education, healthcare, transportation, infrastructure, hunger, and other fields in Hungary. This stage was exciting because we got to brainstorm with our team and finally came up with a problem that we were passionate about.

Next, each group had to present their problems to the other groups, so each team could come up with solutions aligned with the UN Sustainable Goals using the Empathy map and Design Thinking method. The latter particularly caught my interest because I believe that through the Design Thinking method, we could really put the knowledge we obtain at ELTE GTK into practice. One of the parts of the hackathon I loved the most was when our group had to generate more than 100 ideas to tackle our problem (How can we make education at ELTE GTK more applied?). It was a great way to use our creativity and to brainstorm all kinds of ideas including very silly ones as well. This was a challenging but rewarding experience because we had to think critically and creatively to come up with a solution that would make a real impact on our community.

Throughout the hackathon, we worked on our solution constantly, being supported by the professors who were always available to help us if we got stuck. We also had to work within a tight time frame, which made the experience even more intense and exciting.

At the end of the hackathon, we presented our solution and its prototype, which was a bit nerve-wracking. However, our presentation turned out to be great, and I was very proud of what our team had accomplished. Moreover, I believe that our solution, if implemented, could make a positive impact on ELTE GTK’s community.

Looking back on the experience, I realized that I had learned so much, not just about business and problem-solving, but also about the importance of teamwork and collaboration. I also made many amazing friends, and I would definitely like to visit them in the Netherlands.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend the Business Case Studies II course and hackathon to anyone interested in economics, entrepreneurship, innovation, and problem-solving. It is a challenging but fulfilling and enriching experience that will push you to your limits and equip you with vital skills that are necessary to achieve success in today's rapidly changing business world.”