The Deloitte FASTRACK Innovation Challenge is an incredibly exciting program that allows students to experience the demanding realities of the corporate world while exploring the emerging trends that will shape the future of business.
Integrated into degrees such as the Master of Management, the FASTRACK initiative sees students actually join Deloitte's globally recognised innovation program. Students are partnered with Deloitte mentors and go through an intensive 12-week innovation simulation process. It takes them from the idea generation phase through to the development and testing phase and then finally requires them to pitch a business case for a $50 million business innovation to a panel of senior Deloitte partners.
Just like the actual corporate environment, the challenge enjoys a strong collaborative yet competitive focus, with teams from different universities all vying for the top spot, a generous cash prize, and as many business opportunities as the students can create. Impressively, the latest challenge, run just last semester, saw University of Sydney teams fill the first three places; the winning side pitching an idea for an online workforce rewards portal that sees work and performance management turned into a serious game.
The FASTRACK challenge has been running for four-years now and I have to say I’m constantly impressed by the quality of the Master of Management students who are selected to take part. The strength of ideas they’re pitching at the conclusion of the program continuously surpasses expectations of both myself and the Deloitte partners. In fact, two of the graduates from the winning team in the latest challenge were hired by Deloitte.
Perhaps not surprisingly, students who participate in the challenge report having never worked harder on a unit. They also say they’ve never had a more rewarding experience. That’s probably because it’s a genuine real world experience that tests them and the skills they have developed. They face the same hurdles, difficulties and rewards that they’ll encounter when negotiating their future career paths.