It’s case competition season for business schools, and Brock’s Goodman School of Business has already seen success at various internal, regional and international events.
Case competitions are designed to help students develop their analytical and presentation skills while offering networking opportunities with students, faculty and industry professionals.
Here’s a look at some of the Goodman success stories so far this season:
Goodman team among six in the world chosen for competition
Two students from Brock’s Goodman School of Business have made it to the final round of the prestigious Inter-Collegiate Business Competition hosted by Queen’s University.
The path to the finals for business students Preya Parikh and Clara Fennuk began with the first round of competition in October. The pair participated in the human resources category and prepared a written report over two weeks addressing the problems in a human resources business case.
Only the top six student teams from around the world are invited to the final round of the competition in January in Kingston, Ont. This creates a highly competitive atmosphere where teams will have five hours to prepare recommendations based on a case before presenting them to a judging panel.
Categories will include accounting, business policy, debate, ethics, finance, human resources, management information systems and marketing.
A first-time case competition participant, Fennuk says the preliminary round experience helped to change her view in the classroom.
“I learned to take a step back and look at the big picture and not get stuck on the little things that may be irrelevant in a business problem,” she said.
The international event draws “high-quality competition from great business schools, so I am looking forward to seeing how our team does,” said Assistant Professor of Marketing Todd Green, who served as the faculty coach.
Second-place finish at entrepreneurship competition
Five students from Brock’s Goodman School of Business joined forces with an elementary school student to take second place Nov. 19 at the Startup Weekend Peel Region event.
When Assistant Professor Shawna Chen gave her entrepreneurship class the opportunity to participate in the event, students Baiyu Chen, Abena Bota Himah, Caoimhe O’Fearghail, Vanessa McCulloch and Kirat Kaur Padda jumped at the chance to work together and prove their business acumen and presentation skills.
The event — hosted by the City of Brampton, Brampton Entrepreneur Centre and Startup Peel, and held at Brampton City Hall — saw teams come together to build businesses around ideas pitched at the beginning of the competition. They were given 54 hours from start to pitch in the final competition round.
Although the Goodman students didn’t go to pitch a specific idea of their own, they offered their business knowledge and experience to back someone else’s idea.
“We decided we would stick together and be a ready-made team for someone with a good business idea,” said O’Fearghail.
After listening to all the initial pitches, the team was most impressed with 13-year-old Nathaniel Hawron because of his strong passion for STEM and robots.
“He has been building and programming robots since he was five,” said O’Fearghail. “The video and images of the robots he built in the past were phenomenal. He had the idea and we were able to help him build his own firm not by simply doing it for him, but by explaining the concepts and showing him what to do and how to do it.”
Each of the five Goodman students brought a key strength to the team, from financial modelling to product development. This allowed them to help Hawron validate his idea — Nat’s Robotics Academy, a business that teaches children about technology — through market research and build a solid business strategy.
Hawron’s idea and a successful five-minute pitch, followed by a rapid-five question and answer session netted the team a second-place finish.
“Goodman School consistently demonstrates that we prepare students to think critically and creatively, helping them to place well in events where these attributes are key,” said Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes. “Shawna Chen’s practical experience as an entrepreneur, fused with her scholarly activities, offers students a theoretical foundation married with applied methods which has them hitting the ground running.”
Goodman student impresses Whirlpool execs
A Goodman MBA student made waves at a recent national competition.
Ashwani Janagam was on the winning team at the DeGroote MBA Case Competition hosted by McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business Nov. 24 and 25.
The event had MBA students from various schools across Canada come together to form new teams and compete alongside one another.
Janagam quickly got down to business with her new teammates as they worked under a 90-minute time crunch to solve a case about a real challenge faced by Whirlpool, which sponsored the competition.
Company executives judged the different strategies and options pitched by students to address the issue.
Janagam completed a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology engineering and a master’s degree in biotechnology, both in India, before choosing Brock’s Goodman School of Business for its unique operations management specialization in the MBA program.
This was her first time competing in a case competition, an learning experience she found valuable.
“I learned a lot about teamwork, which is really important for the workplace where you have to work well with your team in order to make your projects successful,” she said.
The four Brock MBA students who attended the competition were coached by Associate Professor Eric Dolansky and Lecturer Norman Chasse.
Students chip in to win PepsiCo prize
Students at Brock’s Goodman School of Business put their marketing skills to the test while attempting to address a business issue bubbling at PepsiCo Foods Canada.
The PepsiCo Apprentice Challenge was hosted on campus Nov. 15 by the Brock Marketing Association, a Goodman student club. Now in its seventh year, the competition gives students valuable marketing experience through a real-world business problem.
Students formed teams and spent several weeks with a live case working to formulate a solid recommendation to address the challenge faced by the company.
Second-year accounting students Varun Sharma and Sidharth Rajan and MBA student Anaadi Amar Shivnani won the prize package, which included a cash prize and interviews with PepsiCo Foods Canada for summer jobs.
“I know how much time and research goes into one of these case studies, so when students can manage their time well and provide a good quality presentation, that’s exactly what this is about to me,” said Nicole Spehar, PepsiCo’s Zone Business Manager, Southern Ontario.
Sharma, Rajan and Shivnani’s team developed a comprehensive strategy, one that Spehar said helped put it over the edge in the judges’ deliberations.
“This team had some out-of-the-box thinking with some good, solid research planning behind it,” said Spehar. “As someone who recruits locally for our business, I truly value the quality of candidates that we see at Brock.”
Students take third in accounting competition
Four accounting students from Brock’s Goodman School of Business placed third at the Brock University Accounting Conference Nov. 18.
Mariam Ameen, Jamieson Carr, Syed Abid Raza and Alexa Ogilvie-Robinson competed as a team in the senior category of the event, which is designed to help accounting students think critically and present their analysis and recommendations in an articulate way.
Nineteen university student teams travelled to Niagara Falls to participate in the weekend of career development and accounting case competitions at both senior and junior levels.
Students from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business and Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management took first and second place at the senior level, respectively.
At the junior level, students from Dalhousie University’s Rowe School of Business won first place and teams from Waterloo University won both second and third place.
Goodman receives invite to exclusive competition
Brock’s Goodman School of Business is one of only five Canadian business schools to compete at the invitation-only Heavener International Case Competition hosted by University of Florida in February.
Business students Julia Baird-Oryschak, Sorcha Killian, Mikayla Zolis and Amber Williams will compete in the week-long business strategy competition in Gainsville, Fla., with their counterparts at 19 other business schools from around the world.
This is the first year the Goodman School of Business has been invited to the competition and joins University of Alberta, Simon Fraser University, HEC Montreal and Carleton University in the Canadian delegation.