Okanagan College business students (from left) Dillan Crema, Dan Allen, Madison Deutscher, Scott Overland, Saige Girouard and Nico Dirksen. Photo: Okanagan College

Okanagan College business students soar

Medal winners at Western Canadian Business Competition

Competing against business students from across the country who vied for the top spots at the Western Canadian Business Competition hosted at Okanagan College, a team from OC was recognized for taking strategic planning to new heights.

Over the course of two fast-paced days of competition, student teams were tasked with running a complex business simulation—predicting all aspects of a hypothetical company’s trajectory over an eight-year time-frame.

They then presented their best strategic solutions to a panel of judges. First-, second- and third-year business students competed at the junior level, while fourth-year students competed as seniors.

At the junior level, the OC host team finished second to College of the Rockies, topping teams from Langara College, Selkirk College, and College of New Caledonia. Langara took top spot at the senior level, besting teams from (second-place) McMaster University, Medicine Hat College and OC.

OC’s junior team CEO and first-time competitor Madison Deutscher said the simulation offered her and her teammates a real-life lesson in collaboration.

“The opportunity we get as OC business students to work together in team competitions like this is incredibly valuable,” said Deutscher, who is completing her second year of the Bachelor of Business Administration degree program with a specialization in marketing.

“It’s a great way to learn when to be a leader—when to speak up—and when to listen and support others in their ideas.”

Joining Deutscher on the team were fellow business students Nico Dirksen, Dillan Crema and Saige Girouard. The trio tackled operations, marketing, finance and human resources for their hypothetical company, Everlast Digital Systems, which marketed drones and wearable camera equipment.

“In order to maximize sales over a span of eight years, we had to give a lot of thought to strategic planning,” explained Deutscher.

Their detail-oriented approach paid off. In addition to earning runner up spot in the junior team competition, the group was named top team in the junior strategic plan competition.

“We certainly couldn’t have done it without the support of our coaches,” noted Deutscher. “They really helped us to feel confident leading up to and throughout the competition.

The team was mentored by Okanagan School of Business professors Dan Allen and Scott Overland.

This year marks the 29th time the Western Canadian Business Competition has run. The College has hosted for the past seven years. This year’s sponsors included Interior Savings and McDonald’s.

As in previous years, business leaders from across the Okanagan and beyond stepped up to volunteer and lend their expertise as judges.

“A big thank to you all of our judges, many of whom have been doing this for years,” said Lynn Sparling, one of organizers for WCBC and a professor with the OC School of Business. “It’s so rewarding for students to get feedback from respected business leaders and community members. That element of pressure from having to step up in front of a panel of judges really adds to the learning experience for them.”

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