Faculty & Research

Network Report

  1. TOP
  2. Faculty & Research
  3. Research
  4. Alumni Support
  5. Network Report
  6. International Network
  7. MBA students take top prize in international negotiation tournament

MBA students take top prize in international negotiation tournament


It was almost midnight on April 12, and the Global Frontiers team were holding their collective breath.  The three students were waiting for the final results of a competition that had lasted for over a month, dominating all of their free time. While the Tournament Leaders enjoyed building the tension, our team members rapidly passed text messages back and forth trying to both encourage one another, and calm their nerves.  Finally, the winning team was revealed, and the texting stopped.  Sipho, Dhiviya, and William sat shocked as they, the NUCB Negotiation Team, were awarded 1st place in The Negotiation Challenge 2021 and the champions' title of The Great Negotiators.

What is The Negotiation Challenge?

The Negotiation Challenge is a team-based, high intensity international Negotiation Simulation tournament. Teams are assigned an opponent, and given a case that they are expected to research and prepare. Throughout the week, each team will communicate with one another to schedule their meeting (online), plan the timeline, and negotiate the case.

Founded in 2007 by Dr. Remigiusz Smolinski and Dr. Peter Kesting and started as a joint initiative of their students at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and Harvard Negotiators, the competition is the first international negotiation competition in Europe and one of only few international negotiation competitions in the world.

Since then, The Negotiation Challenge has become one of the most established international negotiation competitions. Over the years, TNC has hosted the world's best student negotiators from leading universities, allowing them to share their passion and compete against each other in realistic negotiation situations.

Each negotiation is different, so teams are required to use many different skills and tactics to reach a negotiation agreement. Going through 3 negotiations before the top 10 teams are selected to compete in 2 additional negotiations in the finals, teams receive value scores based on the strength of their outcomes and a professionalism score based on how each team feels about working with their opposing team.

“We always entered a competition thinking, ‘What do our competitors want? How do we both get what we want?’. It was always about creating value for both teams.” - Siphosethu Makananda

The team members are thrilled, but do not have much time to celebrate.  The challenges of earning an MBA occupy enough of their time. All three members are working on their cases for graduation, and are involved in numerous student groups. The team still works together with the Student Representative Council (SRC) and the growing Alumni Network.

Sipho is currently working with students at the Undergraduate School on Nisshin Campus to help them establish their own SRC.  Dhiviya spends the little time she has working with a start-up entrepreneur platform and fulfilling her duties as an employee of Yamaha.  William is staying close to the Negotiation Club, planning to coach next year's team while working toward a PhD.

Every member hopes that their victory encourages other students to invest their time in activities they enjoy.  For all of the struggles the Global Frontiers experienced in preparing for the TNC 2021, the rewards far outweighed them: tight bonds they forged with students and alumni, the amazing competitors they've met, and the knowledge they gained are just the start of what they've won.  

Global Frontiers

“I know we were good, but I had no idea we were THAT good! We practiced the basics, we made a good plan, and we worked together.” - Dhiviyasri Anbazhagan

Who are the Global Frontiers Team?

The Global Frontiers Team are MBA students attending classes at the Nagoya Maranouchi Campus. Each member joined the Negotiation Club in the fall of 2020, and began practicing their negotiation skills twice a month. Often, the members would find themselves teaching new club members basic skills, and strengthening their own negotiation skills in practice negotiations and case study. Furthermore, each student brought with them unique skills and experiences from their individual work experiences. When the time came to enter The Negotiation Challenge, the team had grown to respect one another, and with the support of the club, they decided to compete together.

Dhiviya enjoys her position as a supply chain project manager for Yamaha, and sharpened her skills over the years by working with suppliers and vendors. Sipho is respected for her diplomatic skills; talents she gathered from years of working on customer facing projects in the energy sector of South Africa. William used his experience as COO of a property development firm to focus on strategy and research. By combining their individual work experience with the negotiation skills developed within the Negotiation Club, the Global Frontiers Team felt they would do well together.

The Global Frontiers team is quick to mention all of the unofficial members of the team that helped them win. The Negotiation Club was founded in the fall of 2019, and each member was recruited by the founding student, Mark Hosang. Mark and his team won 4th place in the 2019 TNC. The team also remembers all the hard work other club members provided to help the Global Frontiers team practice. The Negotiation Club has a strong membership of both Alumni and Students, providing a great place to learn and develop. Finally, the team thanks Professor Baber, who introduced the team to the study of negotiation in the Strategic Negotiation class offered by NUCBBS.