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Business students from across the country vied for the top spots at the Western Canadian Business Competition (WCBC) hosted at Okanagan College last weekend and a team from OC was celebrated for taking strategic planning to new heights.
Over the course of two fast-paced days of competition, student teams were tasked with running a complex business simulation – predicting all aspects of a hypothetical company’s trajectory over an eight-year timeframe. They then presented their best strategic solutions to a panel of judges. First-, second- and third-year business students competed at the junior level, while fourth-year students competed as seniors.
At the junior level, the host team from Okanagan College finished second to College of the Rockies, topping teams from Langara College, Selkirk College, and College of New Caledonia. Langara took top spot at the senior level, besting teams from (second-place) McMaster University, Medicine Hat College and the home team from Okanagan College.
OC’s junior team CEO and first-time competitor Madison Deutscher says the simulation offered her and her teammates a real-life lesson in collaboration.
“The opportunity we get as OC business students to work together in team competitions like this is incredibly valuable,” says Deutscher, who is completing her second year of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program with a specialization in Marketing. “It’s a great way to learn when to be a leader – when to speak up – and when to listen and support others in their ideas.”
Joining Deutscher on the team were fellow business students Nico Dirksen, Dillan Crema, and Saige Girouard. Together they tackled operations, marketing, finance and HR for their hypothetical company, Everlast Digital Systems, which marketed drones and wearable camera equipment.
“In order to maximize sales over a span of eight years, we had to give a lot of thought to strategic planning,” explains Deutscher.
Their detail-oriented approach paid off. In addition to earning runner up spot in the Junior Team competition, the group was named top team in the Junior Strategic Plan competition.
“We certainly couldn’t have done it without the support of our coaches,” notes Deutscher. “They really helped us to feel confident leading up to and throughout the competition.
The team was mentored by Okanagan School of Business professors Dan Allen and Scott Overland.
This year marks the 29th time the Western Canadian Business Competition has run. The College has hosted for the past seven years. This year’s sponsors included Interior Savings and McDonalds.
As in previous years, business leaders from across the Okanagan and beyond stepped up to volunteer and lend their expertise as judges.
“A big thank to you all of our judges, many of whom have been doing this for years,” says Dr. Lynn Sparling, one of organizers for WCBC and a professor with the School of Business. “It’s so rewarding for students to get feedback from respected business leaders and community members. That element of pressure from having to step up in front of a panel of judges really adds to the learning experience for them.”
“Congratulations to all our competitors on their hard work,” adds Sparling. “It’s thrilling each and every year to watch them work together, represent themselves and their schools, and really rise to the challenge.”
For more information about WCBC, visit okanagan.bc.ca/wcbc.