20th December 2018

Interview to Mariana Carnelli and Esti Arenzana, winners of the HBX Award to the Best MOC Project 2017.

MOC Award winners 2018 1

The annual HBX - Harvard Business School award for best Microeconomics of Competitivenes Project went to a DBS MUCI-Orkestra MOC group of students. Their assignment about cybersecurity cluster in Israel was the chosen one between the projects presented from over 100 universities accross the world. Mateo Blanc and Mariana Carnelli, former MUCI students, and Esti Arenzana, consultant at B+I Strategy, are the three members of the winning team. Two of them talked to us about the key points that lead them to this success.

First things first, congratulations! Were you expecting to win this award?

Esti: Thank you very much. Since we started the Project, we had the award in mind but we didn’t expect to win it (we joked about, but not believing it seriously). The first surprise was to be the best Project in class, because there were many good ones in our MOC course. We were already very happy with this recognition. Personally, I didn’t expect to win internationally, there are many good universities at the MOC Network with excellent students and competition level is very high. However, Orkestra students had won the prize more than once so a small hope always remains.

Mariana: as Esti says, we joked around about going to Boston, but we never truly believed that it was possible, because we knew that is a hard competition with high standards, where many great institutions from around the world participate, with qualified professionals giving their best. However, we were very excited about the topic, which is on everyone’s mouth and represents a great challenge now and for the future.

What were, in your opinion, the key points or clues that lead your work to this achievement?

"The diverse backgrounds, nationalities and professional experiences gave value to the result."

Mariana: I would say first, our approach to the project, because we were convinced that in order to work with the subject of information security, which today represents private and sensible data, it is important that the private sector, supporting institutions and the government collaborate aligned towards common goals. Therefore, we focus our work trying to study if it was a feasible option, the opportunities that this collaboration could represent and how to improve it.

Esti: in addition, Cibersecurity and Israel are very hot topics and the combination of the two of them seems very appropriate. Even if Cibersecurity is a global scale problem, Israel is one of the most affected countries. The cluster has an important critical mass of national and foreign companies, with active new formation of business, with specific advantages like specialized supporting institutions and with a sophisticated demand. And there are actively qualified professionals and relevant policy initiatives. Apart from that, we had had dedicated and enthusiastic professors that had helped us to improve the project, checking our hundred drafts and giving us valuable recommendations.

Mariana: and the different backgrounds and expertise of each of us, helped to complement our work for a better project.

What was the main challenge you had to face while doing the assignment?

Esti: Having different profiles at the team it’s being challenging because Mariana was doing MUCI, Mateo was an exchange student and I was just attending the MOC course classes and combining it with my work at B+I Strategy. However, as Mariana says, the diverse backgrounds, nationalities and professional experiences gave value to the result. Apart from that, regarding the cluster chosen, none of us is an expert neither in the country nor the sector, which was very challenging at first.

Mariana: I would say that were two main challenges. The topic itself, because there are more than 70 different products related to the topic of cyber security, so we had to define it according to what we thought could embrace them all, and also the country, because it was not the country of origin of any of us, so we had to reviewed a lot of history, social and cultural characteristics and economic performances.