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Okanagan College’s School of Business Takes Third Place in National Competition
Okanagan College Media Release

Students from the Okanagan School of Business placed third among 30 colleges and institutes in the seventh annual VBus Students Feb2012anier BDC Marketing Case Competition held in Montreal earlier this month.

The team consisted of third-year Bachelor of Business Administration degree students Emily Johnson, Gavin MacVicar, and Breanna Retzlaff, coached by Professor Rick Appleby. In the competition each team had to take a real business case, analyzing it in less than three hours and prepare a 20-minute presentation.

The first day’s case focused on a start-up boardshop business in Calgary. From among the 30 participants, the judges chose six finalists. Their Sunday started at 7:30 a.m. when they were presented a new case about the challenges facing a cabinet-making business in Lethbridge.

The final team presentations were to six judges from different backgrounds and companies as well as the other 100+ students, coaches, and public. Presentations were in the official language preferred by each team, making for an interesting multicultural experience.

Each presentation was carefully monitored with penalties for being less than 18 minutes. Presentations were stopped at 20 minutes, whether complete or not. A five-minute period followed the presentation with judges peppering the students with questions.

“I listen to presentations from real businesses and startups every week,” said Steve Abrams, Partner, IT Venture Fund at BDC Venture Capital. “As a first time judge, I was very impressed with the quality of the presentations, especially given the students only have three hours to prepare.”

The Okanagan School of Business students each commented about enjoying the experience but their greatest takeaway was best reflected in Emily Johnson’s comment: “This was such a great experience to see and hear such a diversity of ideas. It definitely will enable me to do better in my courses and career.”

The first-place team was Mohawk College from Hamilton, Ontario with second place going to College Lionel Groulx-Quebec. The host institute Vanier College did an exceptional job of conducting the event, says Appleby.

Okanagan College will be hosting this year the “Western Canadian International Business Competition” on March 23-25 at its Kelowna campus. The competition involves student teams from across Canada actively running a fictitious company in a global industry using a computer simulation.