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Built Environment Bondies take on the world in Global Student Challenge

A team of four Bond Built Environment students - the ‘Bond Agents’ - finished second in the world when they competed in the final of the Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) third annual Global Student Challenge in Hong Kong earlier this month.

The challenge was an online interactive game in which teams of Built Environment undergraduate students from universities across the world ran a ‘virtual’ construction company in a simulated environment using MERIT[i] software.

After six gruelling, competitive rounds of the competition in April/May of this year, the ‘Bond Agents’ - Yichen (Baron) Li, Peter Tegg, Timothy Duffield, and James Son - were named in the top six teams worldwide to participate in the Global Student Challenge Final.

In the Final, the Bond Agents went head-to-head with teams from Glasgow Caledonian University, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Chongqing University, University of Cape Town and Deakin University - and were Australia's best-performing team, finishing a very admirable second overall to the 'Cali' team from Glasgow Caledonian University.

Professor Alan Patching of Bond’s Faculty of Society and Design said the students performed remarkably.

“About 50 universities worldwide, including 12 from Australia, participated in the early rounds of the challenge and our team came fifth in the world and number one in Australia,” Professor Patching said.

“Having reached the final and finished an incredibly impressive second place globally, our students got to meet some of the world’s biggest movers and shakers in the industry.

“This competition projected them so close to a real life working situation that there was hardly any difference. It was like being in a boardroom; making decisions, testing your strategies, marketing and financial skills.”

Bond Agent team member and Built Environment student, Timothy Duffield said he and his fellow students had learned team building and leadership skills and how to work both independently and collaboratively. 

“This competition was challenging, both personally and professionally,” Timothy said.

“Not only did I get to use my problem solving skills and further develop my analytical abilities, but competing and achieving at this level created global networking and career opportunities.”

Fellow student and team member James Son said the competition gave him the opportunity to learn ‘in the now’ and gain skills and knowledge that he can apply when he graduates from Bond.

“As excited as I was about reaching the final rounds of the competition and finishing second in the world, I was actually just as excited to meet the senior members from the CIOB and listen to their advice and words of wisdom,” James said.

“Learning ‘in the now’ motivates me so much more than just learning by books. It ensures I have the practical skills and ability to jump into the industry and it opens the door to job opportunities not only locally but throughout the world.”

Professor Patching added: “As a lecturer at Bond, I have an obligation to my students to be as up-to-date as possible and to make ‘learning in the now’ something students will never forget.

“It’s a cultural value of the entire University to equip students to be the best they can be in the workplace, to be nothing short of spectacular – and that’s exactly what their participation in competitions like the Global Student Challenge delivers on a global stage,” he said.

The CIOB is the world's largest and most influential professional body for construction management and leadership. Each year the Global Student Challenge Final takes place at the CIOB’s annual members’ forum, which brings together leading construction professionals from across the globe. This year’s event was held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Hong Kong from 10-15 July.

[i] MERIT - Management Enterprise Risk Innovation and Teamwork

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