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Business Management Students Excel at Alberta Deans of Business Case Competition

March 27, 2024

business-case.jpgFive ambitious students in their second year of the Business Management Diploma program at Olds College of Agriculture & Technology showcased their business strategy skills at the annual Alberta Deans of Business Case Competition on March 14 to 16. Carson Akister, Reuel Lee and McKenna Dussault, enrolled in the General Management Major, along with Kennedy Hartman and Morgan Kushnerick, pursuing Sports Management Majors, formed the team representing Olds College — ready to tackle any challenge thrown their way.

To gear up for the competition, they rehearsed tirelessly, honing their analytical skills, refining their delivery and fine-tuning their arguments. Under the guidance of their dedicated coaches and Business Management instructors, Kurt Spady and BR Pirri, the students selected for the team spent the last few months meticulously dissecting various business case studies from prestigious institutions like MIT and Harvard, covering a diverse range of industries from flower shops to energy companies. The team received a new case study weekly to analyze, prepare and present to their coaches as a group

“Students gain the ability to hone and perfect their analytical and presentation skills, to practice critical thinking within a specified time limit, and present on a subject they may know nothing or very little about,” explains Pirri. “This also improves their confidence and allows them to overcome their fear of public speaking. They earn many valuable life lessons!”

Taking place at Northwestern Polytechnic in Grand Prairie, Alta., the competition included 13 teams from across Alberta, including Bow Valley College, Athabasca University, Red Deer Polytechnic, both SAIT and NAIT's Business Schools, Lakeland College, Norquest College, and more. The teams receive their case study at 8 a.m. the day before the competition and prepare their presentation without coach guidance, hence all the weeks of practice on cases beforehand. After a busy day of studying and preparing their presentation, they could contact their coaches after the submission deadline at 6 p.m. 

“This competition was like no other I've participated in as it was very intense and stressful, but so worth it in the end,” says Hartman. “This experience has taught me how to work under pressure, better prepare for class presentations and allowed me to develop better public speaking skills.” 

Though the competition was fierce, the Olds College team showcased their exceptional talent and dedication. As the event concluded, they left with a sense of accomplishment, enriched by the invaluable experiences and lessons learned along the way. 

“I enjoyed being a part of the team for my two years here at Olds College as it helped to better understand the business world, and all the factors that can affect a business,” says Kushnerick. “Overall this competition was very enjoyable as it allows one to network and see how well they work together in a group, while under a time constraint. I would encourage others to take part in this if they ever get the opportunity.”

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