Universitas 21 and PwC Announce Winners of the Innovation Challenge (Group A)

Universitas 21 (U21) and PwC, are pleased to announce that Humberto Jimenez Martinez from The University of Queensland (UQ) is the overall winner for the first group round of the Innovation Challenge competition (view the video below).   

Universitas 21 and PwC, two globally-focused organisations, have come together to offer the Innovation Challenge. This unique partnership was formed to offer Masters and PhD students at U21 institutions access to global work opportunities in a mutually beneficial relationship. 

The challenge, set by PwC, had students communicate their specialist knowledge, skills and talents to potential employers. Students were asked to respond to the idea of working in a world where innovation rules and automation and ‘thinking machines’ are replacing human tasks. Humberto, an MBA student from UQ, stressed the importance of evolving and adapting to change through skills training and planning, but also embracing the qualities that make us human. 

Humberto Jiminez Martinez
Humberto Jiminez Martinez - Overall winner

There are three separate group rounds in total, covering U21 and PwC’s global spread. U21 Provost, Professor Bairbre Redmond said of the competition: 

"The quality of the student presentations in this, the first of three groups entering this competition, has been very good indeed and sets a high bar for the next two competition rounds. My warmest congratulations not only to the winners and the runners up but to all the U21 students who entered the competition."  Humberto has won a trip to Dubai, courtesy of PwC. There, he will get to meet PwC and their clients. In response to winning the competition, Humberto reflected on his future career plans: 

“I feel so excited about winning, I knew the competition was going to be hard, but at the same time I felt confident about my performance. I am very happy that the judges liked my work. 

I am currently halfway through my MBA at the University of Queensland and my plan is to continue my career as a Management Consultant; a role where every decision made is for the benefit of society and its people. The future of work is a topic that excites me and I will definitely put my effort and intellect to spread the word to other future business leaders.”  

An international judging panel comprising PwC Partners and their client CEOS were asked to judge from entries from eight of U21’s member institutions. Judges included Anaam Sharm from Coca Cola, Connor Shelley from BNZ Partners based in New Zealand, PwC Partner Waikay Eik, among others.  

U21 and PwC would also like to congratulate the runners up, Aishwarya Kansakar and Jacob David Cherian, both from The University of Melbourne.  

Aishwarya Kansakar and Jacob David Cherian were equally delighted by their runner up awards. They will receive exclusive coaching sessions with the PwC Academy, tailored to their career needs. Aishwarya expressed her gratitude on being selected: 

"I am very humbled for receiving this prize and I believe the exposure will be relevant for my career aspirations in the field of business." 

Sally Jeffery, Partner and Global Education Network Leader at PwC Middle East, was impressed with the calibre of students who entered and looks forward to meeting the winners in Dubai: 

"On behalf of PwC, I am delighted with the results of the first round of this new competition. It is so encouraging to meet thoughtful and wise students, it's a great testament to the work of the universities who are helping shape their ideas and develop their skills. Everyone here involved in the competition really enjoyed watching the videos, and we have received great feedback from the judges as well.  A big thank you to all the students who obviously put careful thought into their responses, and to the Universities and U21 who ran the competition. I look forward to meeting the winners in Dubai.” 

The next group round of the Innovation Challenge will open on Monday 8 October 2018; this challenge will include U21 institutions in Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea, North and South America, and Canada. Winning entries and further announcements will be uploaded to this website in due course.   

Sally Jeffery (PwC) congratulates Humberto on winning the first group round
Humberto Jimenez Martinez - Winner of the Innovation Challenge (Group A)
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Jacob David Cherian - Runner Up