A group of Brock business students recently left an impression in Montreal at Concordia University. Four Goodman School of Business MBA students, Carson Bender, Braden Day, Ashwani Janagam and Pulkit Modi attended the John Molson MBA International Case Competition, a prestigious, international business competition. The students advanced to the semi-finals, falling just short of the finals. A total of 36 teams from 19 countries attended, including 12 Canadian teams.
The competition is an incredible educational experience for business students, consisting of business cases that are created by case writers around the world and that have never been published or tested. The team has three hours to review the case and prepare a recommendation to a panel of judges, made up of business executives. During their three hour preparatory period, teams had no internet access, no personal electronics, no notebooks, books, or personal documents, no memory storage devices, and no programmable calculators. They were provided with two PC laptops equipped with Microsoft Office 2016 ProPlus including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Their task was to create a 25 minute presentation that they would give to the judges which would propose a solution and implementation plan for the case.
Round three, however, was a special ‘short case,’ in which teams had half the time to prepare and present than usual. Rather than three hours, teams had a mere 90 minutes to prepare, and the normally 25 minute presentation was cut to only 15 minutes.
Round four was a special, live case, which was presented live by a business executive on a current challenge the company is trying to solve. For this case, all 36 teams listened to the presentation and had to rely on information from a brief question and answer period as well as supplementary materials to build their arguments, solutions and implementation plan for the company.
Each team had a minimum of one coach from their school. Brock’s team was lucky to be coached by both Norman Chasse, an Accounting Lecturer; and Eric Dolansky, Associate Professor of Marketing.
The teams are divided into divisions and the competition is held in a round robin format. Each team presents five cases, and their standings after the fifth case determine who advances to the semifinals. Brock’s team was one of nine teams selected, and one of only four Canadian teams to advance this far, beating out teams from McMaster, York and Wilfrid Laurier, as well as the team from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia, who hosted the event.
Along with the educational and practical experience that can be gained, the competition also involves networking opportunities. In addition to communal activities outside of competing, such as a hockey night and a night dining out with fellow competitors, there was a networking cocktail event on Thursday evening, during which competitors were encouraged to meet their judges, fellow competitors and coaches, as well as people from the Montreal business scene.
Carson Bender, one of the four Goodman students competing, commented on how grateful he was for the practical experience and opportunities such as the John Molson MBA International Case Competition that he found at the Goodman School of Business. Bender attributed their success to the team’s ability to work together, the coaching they received, and the foundation they had from classes at the Goodman School of Business.
Despite being unable to reach the finale, the team, their coaches, and Andrew Gaudes, Dean of the Goodman School of Business, are proud of their performance.