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Okanagan College wins double gold at provincial business competition
Okanagan College Media Release

Okanagan College’s national reputation for business excellence continues to grow as eight students from the Okanagan CollegeLink BC Case Winners Oct 2013 School of Business won two gold medals at the Link BC 2013 Student Case Competition, the premier tourism case competition in the province. This is the first time ever junior and senior teams from the same school earned top honours.

Students in the junior (first and second year) and senior (third and fourth year) categories went head to head with teams from the province’s tourism and hospitality schools including Royal Roads University, Thompson Rivers University, and Capilano University on Sunday, Oct 27.

Teams had the option of presenting case solutions in one of two critical areas of hospitality and tourism, human resources or customer loyalty. Both Okanagan College teams presented customer loyalty solutions for Helijet, a $12 million helicopter company from Vancouver and came first in their respective categories. The senior team earned the additional honour of being the highest scoring team overall.

“We created a comprehensive customer loyalty program that went beyond a points system and rewarded both customer behaviour and brand engagement, which was all integrated into a CRM system. We were the only team to do this,” says third year Tourism and Hospitality student Jordan Lacroix, member of the winning senior team.

Team mentor and Okanagan College School of Business professor Blair Baldwin, says “It shows that our students could create a substantial customer loyalty strategy that made sense to the client. This was not an artificial game; this is a real company under major competitive threat.” Business Professor Laura Thurnheer was the second faculty mentor working closely with the winning teams.

“Company representatives told us that the innovation, creativity, and design of the program were so well thought out they were seriously considering implementing parts of it,” he says.

While the strategy of both teams was exceptional, Baldwin attributes the win in part to the presentation skills of all team members, a thought echoed by first year business student and junior competition team member Stephen Jung. “The win was rewarding, not only because we worked hard, but because we made the most of our individual strengths. I am proud to have represented Okanagan College with my team members.”