Students from the School of Business at Okanagan College (OC) were front and centre at the prestigious Queen's University Inter-Collegiate Business Competition this month, with 15 students combining for four medals, including the team award for exceptional team spirit.
The competition, held Jan. 13 to15 in Kingston, ON, saw seven teams from the Okanagan School of Business competing in the final weekend of the event. Two-person teams were presented with a business scenario to analyze, develop a solution, and create a presentation to be presented to a panel of judges in a 5.5-hour time frame.
OC students were competing in areas such as human resources, ethics, accounting, debate, digital strategy, marketing, and business policy and teammates Patrick Gilmour (3rd year) and Jessica Skerlec (4th year) were among the winners, coming away with a first place showing in the human resources competition.
“The entire process challenged me to apply my learnings and strengths from our business program in an environment outside of the classroom,” said Skerlec. “The competition not only allowed me to realize my full potential and improve my confidence but created long lasting relationships with my incredible teammates and coaches, as well as many individuals from all over the world. I cannot thank my fellow peers and faculty from OC enough for their continued support throughout the entire experience.”
“I was so ecstatic when we heard our school’s name announced as champions,” added Gilmour. “I felt a great deal of school pride in that moment and still do. I was so glad to be able to attribute this accomplishment to the dedication of our coaches - Roger and Laura - and the entire business program at OC. I have been given a really amazing education and this championship is absolutely a reflection of that.”
Billed as Canada’s largest, oldest, and most prestigious undergraduate case competition, the Queen’s competition takes place in two stages. Over the course of three weeks in October, competitors worked to prepare a quality business report with the top teams advancing to the final weekend.
“Attending competitions allows our students to develop real-world skills in a fast-paced business environment, while at the same time networking with business leaders and peers from around the world,” said Bill Gillett, Dean of the Okanagan School of Business. “Our mission is to transform lives and by attending these competitions, our students are becoming job ready as they get set to enter the business world.”
After the final weekend’s exhilarating three days, several OC students and professors won awards:
• 1st (HR): Patrick Gilmour and Jessica Skerlec – Coached by Laura Thurnheer and Roger Wheeler
• 2nd (Debate): Braden Hall and Manmeet Dhaliwal – Coached by Bob Groves
• 2nd (Ethics): Kimberly Cornell – Coached by Robert Ryan and Caroline Gilchrist
• 3rd (Accounting): Annika Kirk and Connor Margetts – Coached by Mary Ann Knoll and Adrian Fontenla
• Co-Chairperson Award – Exceptional Team Spirit
“This really is a tremendous accomplishment for our teams. It’s a credit to the students, professors and everyone involved in the Okanagan School of Business,” said Dr. Andrew Hay, Okanagan College Provost and Vice President Academic. “I want to congratulate the entire team on being awarded the Co-Chairperson Award for team spirit. You have done us all proud.”
The Okanagan School of Business at OC integrates theory and subject-matter knowledge into its degree, diploma, and certificate courses, using practical applications such as business competitions, community-based course projects, and work experiences.