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College team captures first in case competition
Okanagan College Media Release

OC HR Team Apr 2015Three Okanagan College business students impressed judges at the TRU Human Resources Management Case Competition last week, taking first place in a high-pressure challenge that put their business knowledge to the test.

Erika Swanson, Brandi Antonucci and Kirsten Schmid won the competition, finishing ahead of competitors from the host school, Thompson Rivers University, as well as teams from BCIT and Kwantlen Polytechnic University. 

The students are all pursuing Bachelor of Business Administration degrees at the College and all specializing in human resources management. 

Swanson came to Okanagan College from Selkirk College; she transferred in after completing two years at home in the Kootenays. She’s set to graduate this spring and will pursue a career in human resources. 

“I was a little bit nervous coming to Okanagan College,” said the 23-year-old. “I wasn’t sure if I would fit in because I started the program part-way through but it is such a good school. I would recommend the College to anyone, the business program is so strong and well respected.”

Though she’s been at Okanagan College for two years, Swanson had never taken part in a business competition outside of the classroom, until her experience at the TRU competition. 

She says the competition really challenged her to work well under pressure, and to apply her knowledge in a very practical way. 

Competitors were each given a case study on a real business situation and were challenged to create a 15-minute power point presentation for a panel of judges. The teams each had one hour to prepare before presenting. 

“We presented last so we didn’t get to see any of the other team’s presentations,” said Swanson. “Maybe that was a good thing, I think it helped us focus on what we were doing.”

After facing a few questions from judges, the team from Okanagan College was declared the winner of the competition. 

“I’m very proud of the team’s result,” said Laura Thurnheer, Chair of Business Administration and co-coach of the College team. “Our students consistently perform well in these kinds of challenges. This marks the second time a team from the College has finished in the top three at this competition. It speaks volumes about the quality of our program and the graduates we produce.”