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College’s Human Resource Management students bring home silver
Okanagan College Media Release

Three Okanagan College business students have returned to Kelowna with a new trophy for the case after placing second in the HRCWest Case Competition, which was held in Edmonton last weekend.HRCWest March 2016

The team of Miranda Birkbeck, Faye Hughes and Sarah Kelman made the trip to Alberta with their faculty advisors Laura Thurnheer and Roger Wheeler.

For Birkbeck, the competition was a chance to improve upon last year’s third-place finish. The fourth-year Bachelor of Business Administration student took part in 2015 and says the experience proved to be valuable the second time around.

“I was more confident this year and that’s one of the really great aspects of participating in case competitions like HRCWest,” she said. “You have to think on your feet and work under stress with different personalities. Those are great skills to develop and are critical to success in the workplace.”

The team was given three hours to analyze a business case and develop a 20-minute presentation, which was immediately delivered to a panel of judges. The top three teams from the preliminary round moved to the finals, where they presented to new judges.

This year’s case challenged the students to put themselves in the shoes of the 2009 Domino’s Pizza corporate management team, which faced a brand-damaging episode after employees filmed a prank in the kitchen of a Domino’s franchise that violated health codes and corporate policy.

“It was a really interesting case,” said Birkbeck. “We felt like we produced a solid plan and the judges seemed to agree. We will be getting a full report on our performance but for now, we’re really happy with how we did.”

The Okanagan College team placed ahead of MacEwan University, Mount Royal University, NAIT, The University of Alberta, Thompson Rivers University, University of Lethbridge, and the University of Manitoba.

“This was the second year we have sent a team to compete in HRCWest and we have continued to get stronger in a very competitive field,” said Thurnheer. “Our team was very pleased with their first round delivery and making the finals was a highlight, both Roger and I are very proud of the team’s performance and results.”