Business students organizing case competition

Krysta Carroll
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The success of the event will determine if they make the grade

Eight teams from across the province will be in Grand Falls-Windsor this month, but not for a sporting event.

College of the North Atlantic’s annual Business Case Competition begins Nov. 19.

“This year, students in my special events management course are doing the planning and the logistics and the actual implementation of the special event,” said Susanne Ivey, the course instructor.

Hannah Guy, Paul Jewer, Joe Periera and Jessica Drake have been planning for the competition since the middle of September.

“It’s going well,” Ivey said. “We couldn’t do a whole lot until we actually knew how many teams were going to be participating. We have eight teams, which is great. Last year it was six. That is basically 48 participants in a business case competition in a school this size, which is wonderful.”

Teams will represent Grand Falls-Windsor, St. John’s, Clarenville, Bay St. George and Burin.

Business people will be the judges.

This is the sixth competition being hosted at Grand Falls-Windsor and the students have most of the planning complete — from accommodations to judge selection and meals.

“We’re doing all the cooking here on campus and our caterer here, who runs the canteen, is doing most of the cooking,” Ivey said.

“Now it’s just waiting for everything to happen.”

The awards ceremony and banquet will be held Nov. 20. The first-place team will win a trip to the Qatar campus to compete in a competition in March.

The student organizers are trying to come up with things for their guest competitors to do during their visit.

“What they are doing now is trying to come up with some different activities that the students can partake in during their off time,” Ivey said.

“They are brainstorming different things that the town has to offer. It’s bringing some economic spinoff to the community, too. We have 48 people coming in, eating and spending money. It’s good.”

Students said all of the planning has been a learning experience.

“I planned wake-a-thons and stuff for McDonald’s when I worked there, but it’s nothing compared to this,” Guy said.

“It’s a lot of fun. It can be stressful, but it’s going to be a lot of fun when we actually execute it.”

Periera said the event is their main project, meaning it is what they will be graded on to determine whether they pass or fail.

“It’s also a good chance to make some good contacts for when we leave (college),” he said. “Hopefully, this will help us make a few extra connections and give us an idea of what the professional business world is going to be like after we finish.“

Ivey said textbooks can give students access to information, but hands-on learning is often more effective.

She said the planning committee is also learning about risk management — anticipating what can happen and forming contingency plans.

Over the years, there have been a number of things that affected the competition, including a hotel strike the day the teams were supposed to arrive, and another year, a snowstorm that forced teams to arrive a day early.

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Geographic location: North Atlantic, Qatar

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