For the second year in a row, Okanagan College has been named one of the top three Finance teams in the country following its performance at the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (ICBC) held at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario last weekend.
Daniella Hallam and Josh Widmann, who are both enrolled in Business Administration at the Okanagan School of Business, took second in the Finance category, up against Concordia, which took first place, and the University of Calgary, which came in third.
The runners-up in the finance group included Simon Fraser University and business schools from Norway and Thailand.
“It was a really amazing experience, and we were really excited to discover that the case we were given was very similar to what we’re already doing in our corporate finance class,” Hallam said.
“And we even had one of the judges come up to us afterwards and ask us what Okanagan College was doing to create such strong finance students.”
That judge was Paris Aden, an independent investment advisor who has worked on more than 100 merger and acquisition transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $80-billion, and who also judged the finance competition last year when the College’s team took third. Afterwards, Aden joined the group for dinner.
“It was awesome,” said Widmann. “Getting a chance to meet all these people, you learn a lot about what motivates people at the higher level.”
Okanagan School of Business Professor Derek Cook has coached the team two years running.
“There’s no question people are starting to ask questions about what we’re doing here at the College when it comes to teaching finance,” said Cook.
Once again Okanagan College was the only college in the country to have teams taking part in this final round of the annual competition. Joining the Finance team was the Management Information Systems team, where Nicole Hamming and Adria Couch, both from the Vernon campus, competed against students from Carleton University, Simon Fraser, UBC, Wilfrid Laurier and the University of Alberta.
In order to qualify for the competition, students spend a month working on a preliminary round case, which is then distributed to faculty members of the Queen’s School of Business for evaluation. Only the top six teams reach the final round in each category.
In the final round, students are given 5.5 hours to review, analyze and prepare a 15-minute presentation before the judges, many of whom are business leaders.
“The commitment by students and coaches is what makes this an awesome school of business,” said Dr. Barry McGillivray, Associate Dean of the Okanagan School of Business.
Now in its 35th year, the ICBC competition is considered to be Canada’s premier undergraduate business case event, attracting business students from Canada’s top business schools, as well as many from elsewhere including Spain, Hong Kong and the United States.