DeGroote students place third overall in MBA Games competition

January 20, 2021 |
Contributed by Rebecca Hull, Marketing and Communications Strategist
MBA Games 2021

“The DeGroote MBA Games team had a great weekend participating in the very first virtual MBA Games hosted by Laval University! We participated in all sorts of events, including a sports competition tracking our walking and running distances in the fall semester, spirit competitions including a virtual escape room, and academic case competitions. Up against 16 other business schools across Canada, DeGroote placed third overall, including two first-place finishes in the marketing case and the virtual escape room activity! We are so proud of our 2021 team. We are already looking forward to taking back the Queen’s Cup at MBA Games 2022!!” said Lisa Davidson and Brandon Balthazaar, MBA Games Co-Chairs.

2021 MBA Games

DeGroote kicked off the 2021 competition season by virtually participating in the MBA Games. The DeGroote team, led by Co-Chairs Lisa Davidson and Brandon Balthazaar, finished strong as one of the top three schools in the annual national competition.

The MBA Games is the largest collegiate competition in Canada. Laval University hosted the competition virtually on January 9-10, 2021. Over 300 MBA students from 16 business schools across Canada participated in academic, athletic, and spirit challenges.

Co-Chairs Lisa Davidson and Brandon Balthazaar share more about how the DeGroote MBA Games team rose to challenge this year.

What was it like to participate in this year’s MBA Games?

This year was definitely a change from our previous two years! Never having met over half our team in person, creating a sense of team spirit and competitiveness was a rewarding challenge. We couldn’t be prouder of how everyone came together to make this year’s Games happen during the pandemic!

MBA Games 2021

How was the virtual experience, and how was the event organized?

Laval University stepped up to the plate, tackling the challenge of how to organize a virtual MBA Games. What is usually four sporting competitions during the MBA Games weekend became an extended “kilometre challenge” over the entire fall semester. Spirit competitions and academic cases also shifted to accommodate an online format.

MBA Games 2021How did you participate in the mini-challenges?

For athletics, DeGroote tracked THOUSANDS of kilometres walking and running between October and December. For the spirit component, we compiled creative video clips of ourselves to many different songs along the theme of “future of work.” We participated in two conferences and a virtual escape room! Finally, the academic competition consisted of two cases: one for P&G regarding the future of work and another on behalf of a small virtual event planning company.

What song best describes your team’s work ethic?

Our team song would be Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen. There was rarely a day that Cory, Maja, and Isabella weren’t pushing us to run a little further for the sports competition!

In regards to the mini-games over the weekend, your team placed in several categories. Tell me more about the inter-university challenge and academic cases. What approach did your team take to tackle these challenges?

We maintained the extremely competitive DeGroote spirit. We created a strong team camaraderie by engaging in virtual socials. Our team felt that we could lean on one another while working toward a common goal: win the 2021 MBA Games! Our team ended up taking first place in the escape room and strategic marketing case. We came in second place in the athletic competition!

MBA Games 2021What does placing third overall mean to you/your team? What does this competition mean to you?

The MBA Games allowed us to build strong professional relationships with the fantastic DeGroote network of students and build friendships that will last a lifetime. We are so excited about our podium finish because of the hard work that went into it from our competing team and the exceptional individuals on our volunteer squad! We love a good challenge and were impressed with the other Canadian business schools’ talent this year!

What advice would you give to a student about participating in a case competition like the MBA Games?

The case competition portion of MBA Games is unique in that it requires both commitment to the academic case and participation in the other components of the competition. Our case teams contributed to the athletic teams (this meant a lot of running in the fall!) and spirit components. In addition to the hours of case prep with our amazing coach Milena Head, we were also part of the larger DeGroote Games team.

If the MBA Games DeGroote team were a brand, what would be your motto?

Work hard, play hard! Being a part of this team means a lot of commitment and work, but the reward from participating and competing makes it all worth it! We feel so lucky to have been participants and leaders of the most incredible team!

Lisa Davidson

Lisa Davidson

Associate, GLDP
CIBC

Having previously worked as an Occupational Therapist, Lisa used her MBA to learn more about how healthcare could be tackled from an organizational perspective. The DeGroote MBA helped Lisa to find her true passion of organizational design, which she is now pursuing through working within Workplace Transformation at CIBC. Growing up and working at summer camp, Lisa developed a love for leading teams, which she was able to showcase through her commitment to the MBA Games team.

Brandon Baltha

Brandon Balthazaar

Analyst, Financial Institutions, EMEA
TD Securities

Brandon took on an MBA having completed his undergrad in Kinesiology, with an interest in consulting and finance. Throughout his MBA he tried his hand in many industries and is currently applying his talents on the TD Securities team. As a sports fanatic, Brandon’s competitive spirit fueled the MBA Games team for three consecutive years.

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