March 20, 2013
A team of four commerce (co-op) students from the Faculty of Business Administration placed second at the Network of International Business Schools (NIBS) Worldwide Case Competition in Belgium this month.
The team, consisting of Emily Byrne, Marie Daley, Laura Francis and Krystal Hobbs, all of whom are bachelor of commerce (co-op) students and who are supported by coach Prof. Peggy Coady, defeated teams from Germany, Thailand, the United States and Canada to place second.
Bishop's University from Quebec won the competition. Carleton University and the University of Prince Edward Island tied for third.
"Although we didn't win the final round, we were absolutely overwhelmed with the number of people, participants, coaches and judges alike who came up to us to offer congratulations on such a strong performance," says Daley. "For me, and I believe for the other girls as well, this was the most rewarding part of the whole competition. Being recognized and congratulated by my peers and my seniors is so much more gratifying than a high-ranking finish."
NIBS is a group of business schools from around the world that believe that the internationalization of business and the globalization of the economy are essential elements in the evolution of managerial practices.
The case competition began in 1996 and is one of the oldest case competitions for business students at the undergraduate level. Memorial University has made it to the championship round of the competition every year and has the best record in the competition, including six first-place finishes.
"I think a big part of our success was our calm attitude [during the competition]," says Daley. "We had this amazing opportunity to network with business owners, students and faculty from across the world, and letting a little competition get in the way of such a fantastic opportunity would have been a shame. At the end of the day, each of us just wanted to do our best and enjoy the ride."
The Memorial team qualified for the championship round in November after preparing a written case analysis. Ten teams from Canada, Thailand, Germany, Belgium, Finland and the United States took part in the championship round, hosted by KHLeuven University in Leuven, Belgium.
The team presented six case studies throughout the competition, from March 2-9. Each case study included an analysis of a business problem or issue and creating a strategy for its resolution and implementation. The results of the team's analysis were presented to a panel of judges made up of business academics and executives from the Leuven business community, who also questioned team members on the ideas presented.
"The NIBS Case Competition is an ideal opportunity for students to apply the theories learned in the classroom to real business problems," says Prof. Coady. "NIBS is a great opportunity for our students to test their skills and network with students from around the world."
"The team did an amazing job this year," she adds. "At all times, they were excellent ambassadors of Memorial University, the province and the country."
Prof. Coady, who is an assistant professor of accounting and auditing as well as director of graduate programs at the Faculty of Business Administration, was also honoured with the Most Inspiring Coach Award during the competition. Memorial established the award when hosting the competition in 2011.
"The coach's award was a nice recognition of Memorial's commitment to coaching students in the NIBS Case Competition for almost 20 years," says Prof. Coady, noting the successes of previous coaches Dr. Asmo Palasvirta and Dr. Alex Faseruk. Prof. Coady has coached the team since 2006.
"Peggy is the most important member of the team," says Daley. "She provided the time, knowledge and support to enable us to prepare for the competition.
"It was not until I got to the competition and saw that we really were competitive with most of the other teams that I realized how strategically she had prepared us. The dedication is takes for her to come back year after year, putting in so much time to coach a completely new team, is truly inspiring.".