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Selkirk Business Students Bring Innovative Ideas to Annual Competition

Selkirk Business Students Bring Innovative Ideas to Annual Competition

Apr 09 2013
Selkirk College Business Administration students impressed their judges with innovative and well-thought out business ideas at the 8th Annual Business Competition.

The competition was held at the Castlegar Campus on Thursday, March 28 and included more than 60 students and six local business people who volunteered their time to judge the students’ work.

“This competition gives students the opportunity to pull together information from all the different courses and disciplines they’ve been studying,” said Ron Anderson, a Chartered Accountant with Yule Anderson, Chartered Accountants in Castlegar, a Selkirk College Alumni and a lifetime board member for Selkirk College. “All the information culminates today and their ability to demonstrate how to use that information.”

“Every year students seem more prepared and better prepared – and they don’t seem as scared as they should be,” smiled Anderson, whose been judging the competition since it started eight years ago. “But that level of confidence is great to see.”

Marketing Challenge Showcased Creative Solutions From Students

There were two parts to the competition; a marketing challenge for the first-year students and a business case competition for the second-year students. The first year students participated in a mock trade show where they formed marketing companies and then created an ad campaign with a virtual $1,000 budget. This year they created an ad campaign to promote another Selkirk College program -- the Digital Arts and New Media Program.

The students came up with many creative ideas including the utilization of social media networks. One group made a cell phone App through YAPP that could be photographed by a phone and then would display all the event information on the screen. Another suggested “guerilla” marketing where they would have hundreds of sticky notes with event information stuck in a form of heart to a public wall.

Jared Seutter, a first-year Business Administration student, demonstrates how the Yapp App works on cell phones.

Jared Seutter, a first-year Business Administration student, demonstrates how the Yapp App works on cell phones. The App was part of a marketing plan his group designed for the marketing competition during the 8th Annual Business Competition. His team’s innovation paid off – they won first place in the marketing competition and the Student's Choice Award.

The trade show attracted a lot of attention from staff and students. Some Digital Arts and New Media students dropped by to check out the projects too.

“I think the projects are pretty awesome,” said Rachael Hodsall, a second year Digital Arts and New Media student. “We have a lot on our plates at this time of the year and it’s nice to have others take this on … I think their projects are all pretty impressive. They’ve come up with ideas I wouldn’t have thought of.”

Selkirk College Instructional Dean at the Castlegar Campus, Rhonda Schmitz, listens intently as first-year Business Administration student Connor McLaughlin explains his team’s strategy to market the Digital Arts and New Media Program’s annual showcase.

Selkirk College Instructional Dean at the Castlegar Campus, Rhonda Schmitz, listens intently as first-year Business Administration student Connor McLaughlin explains his team’s strategy to market the Digital Arts and New Media Program’s annual showcase.

The marketing judges were also impressed. They admired the “out of the box” approach the students took, said competition judge Deanne Steven, Tourism Rossland executive director.

First-year Business Administration student Jason Yuan tells an audience about his team’s marketing strategy during the mock trade show.

First-year Business Administration student Jason Yuan tells an audience about his team’s marketing strategy during the mock trade show.

Virtual Business Case Provided Realistic Business Experience

The second year students were really put to the test when they were given a virtual business to transform Westlake Lanes Bowling Alley. In the morning they presented their business plan to improve an existing business to a panel of four judges. In the afternoon those judges mixed things up by telling the students the building their business leased would be foreclosed on by the bank. They then had to reformulate their plans to accommodate the change.

“I think the competition is a great opportunity and culmination of what we learned. Throughout our two years it has been a good trial run for experiencing real life,” said Lauren Zanier, a second-year Business Administration student.

Celebrating All The Award Winners

At the end of the day, first place for the Marketing Trade Show and the Student’s Choice award went to Zach Bomak, Nick Cecconi, Beau Taylor, Marrisa DeRosa and Jared Seutter of Phoenix Marketing. Second place was awarded to Hailey McLean, Taryn Scarff, Lara Hunter and Connor McLaughlin of Queens and a King Marketing. Third place went to Cody Fidgett, Colin Minardi, John Proctor, Stephen Saretsky and Sahib Singh of Housley Marketing.

The top spot for the Business Case Competition went to Jeromie Parker, Wade Swagar, Jacob Swanson and Steve Robert, second place went to Guy Dilena, Alex Gordon and Rob Squires and third place went to Jordon Wood, Shawn Reichert, David Langille and Eri Yamada.

Rob Squires also won the top student award as picked by the judges. The Students’ Choice Award for the top business case analysis went to Melanie Wasilenkoff, Brittany Horswill, Erik Craft and Chelsea Grisch of Brilliant Dam Consulting.

Zach Bomak, Nick Cecconi, Beau Taylor, Marrisa DeRosa and Jared Seutter took home the top prize in the Marketing Trade Show competition and the Students’ Choice award for their campaign, which included a Yapp they designed themselves.

Zach Bomak, Nick Cecconi, Beau Taylor, Marrisa DeRosa and Jared Seutter took home the top prize in the Marketing Trade Show competition and the Students’ Choice award for their campaign, which included a Yapp they designed themselves.

Winners of the Marketing Trade Show won certificates and $125 tuition credits toward their next semester at Selkirk College.  All other winning teams won certificates and cash prizes. A number of door prizes were handed out at the event including gifts from associations including Chartered Accountants, Certified General Accountants, Certified Management Accountants, and Human Resources Management Association. 

Grants, coupons, and cash donations were provided by local organizations including Pinnacle Professional Accounting Corporation, Starbucks Castlegar, Element Club Bar and Grill, Lions Head Pub, and the Leo Perra Foundation. Second-year students planning to transfer to Okanagan College in September drew for $500 tuition credit at Okanagan College.  Winners were Jacob Swanson and Caleb Kennedy.

Many Thanks To Support of Community & Judges

The judges, critical to the success of the event, who took part included:  Ron Anderson of Yule Anderson Chartered Accountants, Sharon Stoddart of Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute, Tim O'Doherty of Columbia Basin Trust, and Doug Johnstone of Pinnacle Professional Accounting Corporation.  This year's team of judges was rounded out with Selkirk College staff including Gary Leier, Director of Human Resources, and Charla Beaulieu, Instructor of Digital Media and New Arts.

About Selkirk College Business Administration Program

Selkirk College’s two-year Diploma of Business Administration is unique in that it offers a business competition with mandatory participation for all students. This innovative program combines experiential learning alongside dedicated and experienced professionals. It provides a learner-centered educational experience that prepares our students for work, further education, service and lifelong learning.

View the Annual Business Competition photo album and learn about previous competitions. 

Learn more about Selkirk's Business Administration Program or visit the Business Administration Facebook page.


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