Weeks of practise paid off for a team of four Goodman School of Business students, who placed first for the second consecutive year in the annual World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara International Case Competition held at Niagara University in Lewiston, New York on Friday, Feb. 28.
Third- and fourth-year Brock University Bachelor of Business Administration students Tyler Bergey, Nimrat Brar, Sukhwinder Gill and Diana Oprea competed together against five other undergraduate university teams from western New York and southern Ontario on a case involving a real-world international trade scenario provided by the American company Moog.
The team was given the case at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 and had until 9 a.m. the next day to submit their recommendation. By 2 a.m., the team had a detailed document and presentation prepared on how Moog could expand their digital technology to improve both customer and employee collaboration.
“The case mentioned that many of the company’s decisions are data focused, so we recommended they incorporate Microsoft Teams,” said Gill. “Through Teams, Moog could connect company mobile devices and data terminals with sensors that would allow for seamless distribution of data over digital networks.”
The team also conducted several PESTLE (political, environmental, social, technological, legal and economic) analyses to determine which countries would be open to receiving and adapting the technology. They also recommended important skills and experience the company should focus on when training and hiring employees to implement and continue with the new technology.
“Our presentation was spot-on with what the company was already doing,” said Brar. “After the competition, Moog’s Chief Technology Officer shared that they had begun incorporating Internet of Things, pursuing more internal and external collaboration and ramping up their data collection. I think that was the coolest part – knowing that our plan was kind of right.”
Real-world practice is one of several reasons Goodman students participate in case competitions.
“What I enjoy most is applying knowledge I learned in classes to real-world scenarios,” said Brar. “We receive immediate feedback from industry professionals, so we get to gauge if our thinking is on the right track. I haven’t worked in an office environment yet, so case competitions are my best way of getting exposure to the inner workings of a company.”
For Gill, case competitions allow him to learn new knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
“I’ve done several case competitions that are tech-related, which is something I don’t specialize in,” he said. “The majority of my classes focus on marketing, so participating in case competitions exposes me to digital strategy and new technologies and systems that are moulding the industry.”
Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes is proud of the team’s success and encourages other students to get involved with case competitions.
“International competitions like this prepare students for the working world by encouraging them to think critically and problem solve, hone their communication skills, and demonstrate competence and confidence in their business knowledge.”
The team credits their victory to weeks of practise and support from faculty members. Marketing and International Business Strategy Instructor Kent Walker acted as the team’s coach, curating and creating mock cases, and organizing a dress rehearsal presentation where several professors asked questions and provided feedback to the students. The team was also supported by Teighan McIntyre, Goodman’s Student Programming Co-ordinator.
“The questions asked by our professors were very close to what the judges actually asked during the competition question period,” said Gill.
The annual World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara International Case Competition is only one of several case competitions Goodman students have recently experienced success. Earlier this year at the JDC Central competition, Goodman’s Accounting and Wild Card case teams placed first and the Digital Strategy team took home second. At the DECA U provincial championships, Goodman’s 60 students captured 24 medals in individual and case competitions.