DeGroote students win top business school competitions

January 10, 2020 |
Contributed by Rebecca Hull, Marketing and Communications Strategist
MBA Games 2020 Champions

“We are so proud of the commitment and dedication each team member demonstrated throughout our preparation and during the competition. This weekend showcased the caliber of the DeGroote students. We look forward to the continued success of the team in future competitions,” says Olivia Allega, MBA Games Co-Chair.

The DeGroote School of Business undergraduate and graduate students won a school-record of 17 trophies at national competitions this January. Over 1,000 students from business schools across Canada participated in academic case competitions, athletic challenges, and debates. These competitions are waypost events for business school students, which expose them to diverse problems and encourage them to consider the wider social implications of business projects.

MBA Games 2020

For the second year in a row, DeGroote won the MBA Games. The largest business school competition in Canada was hosted in Hamilton, Ontario on January 3-5, 2020. Over 550 MBA students from 17 business schools across Canada participated in academic, athletic and spirit challenges. The DeGroote team, led by Co-Chairs Olivia Allega and Alexandra Beran, was presented with the coveted Queen’s Cup on Sunday as the top overall school in the annual national competition.

“The MBA Games is such a great opportunity for students to connect with hundreds of MBA colleagues from across the country and put their skills to the test, across the various competitions,” says MBA Games Co-Chair Alexandra Beran.

More than a competition

The MBA Games are more than a business school competition. The theme for this year’s MBA Games was Business with Purpose, a purpose-driven competition that expanded on the scope of the cases and challenges to address impact that is socially beneficial for business and society.

With this in mind, competitors raised almost $60,000 for Empowerment Squared. Empowerment Squared is a Canadian charity that works with youth and communities to effect sustainable change through education, social development, and lifelong learning opportunities. Fundraising for this charity was a component of this year’s spirit competition, which also included challenges in dance, video, and a mystery event. DeGroote placed first-overall in the spirit competition.

As the host business school and city, this event would not have been possible without the incredible competitors, volunteers, judges, McMaster staff, vendors, agency partners, sponsors, and Empowerment Squared.

John Molson MBA International Case Competition

John Molson DeGroote MBA team

John Molson MBA team: (L-R) Stephanie Ebreo, Alexandra Beran, Milena Head (coach), Nicole Verni, and Annette Szeliga.

The John Molson MBA International Case Competition is the largest case competition that is open to top business schools worldwide. More than 36 teams competed across 10 countries. The competition format is a round-robin tournament consisting of seven unpublished business cases. The final round of the week is a live case presentation by a major company, who present a real-life business challenge that MBA students are to solve. The all-female DeGroote team won all of their first round cases, making them division champions. Also, they won the spirit award for exemplary team work and competitive spirit! This award was such a testament to the DeGroote spirit!

“Characterizing the impact that this competition has had on my development as an MBA graduate is no easy task. The countless hours spent practicing with this stellar team taught me that there is a solution to any problem out there, it’s just about remaining open, being creative yet realistic, trusting your teammates and knowing when to take a step back to let others lead. This team did a phenomenal job leaning in to some really tough cases and leveraging our business acumen and industry knowledge to come up with some memorable and impactful solutions! And all within 3 hours!” said Stephanie Ebreo.

JDC Central (JDCC) Business Competition

JDCC 2020 Business School Competitors

“JDCC is an experiential learning opportunity that strives to push students beyond their limits. It requires every single delegate to not only master their specific category, but to exercise their critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills to a degree that can never be tested in the classroom,” says JDCC Co-Captain Jeremy Gregory.

JDCC is the premier undergraduate business school competition in Central Canada. Over 500 students from 11 business schools participated in JDCC. Students competed in academic cases across nine different disciplines, as well as in sports, social, and charity events. Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, hosted the competition on January 4-6, 2020. Academic cases required students to resolve a case (without doing any external research) within three hours and make a 20-minute presentation to a panel of judges. Building on last year’s unprecedented success, DeGroote won six trophies this year!

A record-setting weekend

This record-setting weekend was achieved through the strong leadership and collective drive of the co-captains, executive committee, faculty and students. Co-captains Jeremy Gregory and Phillip Liu demanded excellence of themselves and their fellow delegates. They pushed their delegates to apply the concepts they learned in the classroom to solve real world problems. Faculty members took the time to coach each of the case teams on their problem-solving, analysis and presentation skills.

“As Co-Captains, we were tasked with leading a delegation filled with 46 different personalities. We were required to exercise our emotional intelligence and people management skills at a scope that is difficult to replicate in other student-leadership positions. We are forever grateful for the opportunity to work with a stellar group of students. They demanded excellence from us and themselves. It is because of their eagerness to learn, grow, and succeed that we were able to spur our development as leaders and as people,” says JDCC Co-Captains Jeremy Gregory and Phillip Liu.

Battle on Bay

Battle on Bay team

Battle on Bay team: (L-R) Thomas Hankins, Owen Angus-Yamada, Eric Mason and Owen Marshall.

A team of four students were up against the brightest finance minds in the province at Battle on Bay. Students utilize their problem solving, communication, and financial skills to solve real life financial issues over three days. This year the company of focus was Accenture. The team had to provide a 12 estimate of the share price and consider companies that Accenture should purchase. Part of this was a thorough understanding of the industry and environment that Accenture operates in, what exactly is Accenture, and an analysis of past acquisitions. Our team placed first in the initial round and were then given a part B, which they had very limited time to analyze. They finished second overall in the competition.

DeGroote uses the case method as a teaching approach and offers meaningful learning experiences. We aim to equip our students with the knowledge and skills to become leaders within and outside the university. Our students are rising to the challenge – leading the way in innovation, collaboration and generosity.

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