Archive for January, 2011
39 students from the MBA and MOT programs attended the MBA games in Toronto from January 7th to January 9th. Taralyn Day, Jeff Norman, Karen Robson and I were selected to take part in the marketing plan competition. 18 schools competed in the marketing plan competition. This event was sponsored by Telus, and the competitors were given three hours to create a marketing plan to position Telus as the leading retailer of tablets.
Our day began at 9:30 with a kick-off session. We were given some background information about Telus, and what our assignment was. The teams were required to create a strategy that would position Telus as the leader in the mobile tablet industry.
Thanks to Colleen Collins and Jeff Nehajowich both the marketing team and the case competition team (Colin Lam, Julia Green, Matt Harris, and Kelvin Chu) had the opportunity to do a practice case before travelling to the games. As a result, we started the competition with a PowerPoint template ready to go. The template saved us some valuable time.
The team dove right into the analysis. Luckily, we are all tech savvy, and had a good understanding of the products in question. Our proposal for Telus is the “Service First Strategy”. We recommended that Telus position itself as the WestJet of the telecommunications industry. They need to emphasize their great customer service, and tell their customers that they have great customer service. We also analyzed and gave recommendations on their pricing, distribution and infrastructure strategy.
Prior to returning to classes for the spring semester, 39 members of the Segal Graduate School of Business embarked on an adventure to Toronto to participate in the annual MBA Games. The competition was hosted by York University, last year’s victor. Despite it being SFU’s first appearance in six years, the team did exceptionally well, finishing fourth out of 20 teams.
The competition was a mixture of academic, athletic, and spirit events. These events were packed into the weekend at various locations throughout the city. The academic competitions – consisting of a marketing case study, a business plan competition, and a business simulation – took place at York University and at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel. Associate Dean Colleen Collins helped the team prepare for the competition by organizing case workshops and chaperoning the trip.
Jeff Norman, a member of the finalist marketing case study team, said, “It was an excellent opportunity to showcase to other schools what we’re made of. Additionally, we had a chance to do some great networking.” The team was given three hours to prepare a presentation for C-level executives of Telus Communications concerning the future of tablets (electronic devices such as iPads), and advanced to the finals before finishing in 4th place.
SFU Business MBA student, Julia Green, was kind enough to share her experiences at the 2011 MBA games with us. Please enjoy this entry!
The time has come! After a restless sleep in our respective hotel rooms, myself, Colin, Kelvin, Matt and our coach Tim were up at 6:30 am Toronto time (3:30 am Vancouver time) in order to iron our suits and eat a good breakfast. The bus to Schulich Business School (York University) left bright an early at 8:00 am sharp. After a dozy 40 minute bus ride, we finally arrived at the Schulich campus. The case competition officially began at 9:30 am. Before we knew it, we were well on our way. The three hours spent analyzing and preparing our case presentation went by in a flash. After feverishly putting the finishing touches on our power point, and handing in our USB, we had about an hour to relax before we were officially set to present in front of the judges. The nervous energy was palpable, I could barely sit still.
Finally, it was time for us to present. In one word; we nailed it. The judges asked tough questions, but we had eloquent and well-placed responses to every question thrown at us. We were confident, but aware of the caliber of the competition; top business schools including Richard Ivey, Queen’s and Rotman to name a few. At the end of the first round, we waited patiently to hear who made the finals and were delighted to learn that Segal was one of six teams to make it through to the finals!
SFU Business MBA student, Julia Green, was kind enough to share her experiences at the 2011 MBA games with us. Enjoy the entry!
Only two days left until we take off to Toronto for the 2011 MBA Games! Today, the business and marketing case teams met to carry out a full case study practice simulation. All I can say is what an eye opening experience. After being handed the cases, the teams set to work, analyzing the case data and preparing a full 15 minute power point presentation in just three hours. SFU faculty members acted as judges, and while we were grilled with tough questions, we were also provided with some very useful feedback. Key learnings from today’s case competition simulation include:
1) Delegate a task-master who is responsible for keeping track of time
2) Consider the financial statements in the appendix of the case
3) Be confident and smile at judges while presenting
SFU Business MBA student, Julia Green, was kind enough to share her experiences at the 2011 MBA games with us. Here is a note from Julia along with her entry:
“I was honoured to represent Segal at the MBA Games as a member of the business case team. The case competition experience was both challenging and rewarding. Below is my MBA Games case competition diary.” – Julia Green, MBA Candidate
Official MBA Games crunch time has begun! After an amazing and relaxing holiday break, the MBA Games case team was eager to begin actively preparing for the case competition component.
First off, let me introduce the MBA Games business case competition team. Matt Harris, Colin Lam and I are all current full-time MBA students here at SFU. Kelvin Chiu is a current MOT student, who works full-time as a Customer-Focused Team Leader with Creation Technologies. We also have two exceptional back-up members: Kathleen Williams and Tim Charles, both current MBA students.
The final weeks of last semester were definitely a whirlwind of activity, assignment after assignment, right up until finals. The first semester was similar to a slap in the face, warning you to get yourself ready for the rest of the year.
We started off with Strategy, Marketing, Leadership, Economics, Accounting and Statistics – a full course load and a shock to those who have never used the word “monopoly” unless referring to the board game.
Amidst all of the holiday hustle and bustle the SFU team is in full preparation mode for the MBA Games taking place Jan 7-10.
Of the three Games’ disciplines, the academic competitions require the most preparation in a classroom-like setting so our team recently convened for the first of several meetings to understand what we really signed up for. The academic team is comprised of 3 groups for different competitions: marketing, business case and business simulation. I’m part of the marketing group and with the help of Colleen Collins, Associate Dean and marketer extraordinaire, we are in good hands to prepare a winning case.