On 27 November Ufa State Petroleum Technological University hosted a business game for students housed by the Youth Science Park.

“Where would you build a liquefied natural gas plant in Russia?” The students of Ufa State Petroleum Technological University had to come up with a reply to this anything but simple question within three hours. PETON Holding held a so-called “case tournament” for young specialists – a business game in solving business cases.

Sixty best students were selected out of 250 who had applied for the tournament. The selection process took into account good performance, the average grade and history of participation in similar events. All the students of different years and faculties of UGNTU were divided into 14 teams by event organizers – UGNTU case club and PETON.

“Such case tournaments help us not only check the students’ knowledge, but to observe their behaviour in various complicated situations, to see how they answer tricky questions, how they prove themselves when solving really complex tasks within a limited period of time”, says UGNTU case club leader Timur Gaynullin. “We conduct such case tournaments from time to time; so, we were glad to arrange another intellectual “battle”, but this time in cooperation with PETON. Our idea was that the team members should not be familiar with one another; it is in such situations that young specialists can more vigorously reveal themselves as professionals, take strategically important decisions and even start thinking already as company managers, not just like students-theorist”.

PETON prepared a difficult task for petroleum technology students: within three hours they all had to elaborate the possibility to build a new liquefied natural gas plant in Russia, based on input data. Using all possible sources of information, the students had to analyse the LNG market and decide where exactly in our country the new plant would be constructed, and what company would be selected as licensor of natural gas liquefaction technology.

Based on all the data collected, the students prepared presentations and then defended the proposed projects in front of a competent jury – representatives of UGNTU and PETON management.

“Science moves ahead thanks to ambitious and progressive young generation, and that is why we put high hopes on such intellectual events and gladly recognize the work of the most talented students,” comments Viktor Kovanov, Deputy Manager of Technology and Science Department at Peton. “Today Peton executes large-scale EPC contracts, therefore, our need for active, intelligent and talented young scientists and young specialists is constantly growing. And it is case tournaments that help us find such persons of natural gifts.”

According to the management, over 2.5 thousand employees work for Peton today, and this number is constantly growing. But the company employs not only the most talented ones who passed a strict selection and have higher education – this is far from being the only requirement for them.

“When accepting new employees, companies in Russia and across the world often “test” young specialists – yesterday’s university graduates – exactly by having them solve various cases. It is trendy today”, Irina Burenina, Chairperson of Oil&Gas Economics and Management Department is assured. “Penton is a serious employer”. A large number of UGNTU graduates are already working for the company. We will continue our cooperation and we put high expectations in it!”

The students participating in case tournament eagerly proceeded with solving the task set: limited time, high competition, and desire to prove themselves before the jury – all of this fuelled the interest and motivation. There is no single correct solution to this problem – that is the difficult part of any case tournaments.

“When I saw the announcement of the event organized by Penton in my mailbox I did not think twice before applying!” Elvira Sharipova, a fourth year student at UGNTU Gas Business Institute shares her impressions. “I am not new to case tournaments: I like to have such a possibility to demonstrate my knowledge. Here we learn to analyse a large volume of information, search for solutions on our own weighing all the pros and cons”. In my opinion, such cases are a chance to look at things from a practical aspect, not just to learn a theory of something”.

All the participants admit that they are interested not only in the process of developing a solution for the task set, but also in having a feedback from Penton representatives and UGNTU lecturers: it is really important to hear a professional opinion.

Based on the results of the case tournament, the brightest teams received memorable gifts from the event organizer – Penton, and the winning team received a cash reward. But the most important is the possibility to get an internship in the company and, based on its results, to be employed by it later, after graduation.

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