Université Laval wins MBA case competition

JMSB teams edged out in the semi-finals
January 11, 2012
By Yuri Mytko

The Christmas break provided little opportunity to rest for the student organizers of the John Molson School of Business (JMSB) signature annual event.

The 31st annual John Molson MBA International Case Competition was held from January 3 to 8 at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel. It is the oldest and largest competition of its kind in the world.

The delegation from Université Laval – Winners of the 2012 Concordia Cup | Photo by Ben Shah
The delegation from Université Laval – Winners of the 2012 Concordia Cup | Photo by Ben Syne

The Concordia Cup, awarded to the competition winners, was presented to the delegation from Université Laval at a closing banquet on January 10 along with a cheque for $10,000. The University of Otago from New Zealand finished second, while the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business rounded out the top three.

This year’s competition had 36 participating teams, representing schools from 11 different countries. The JMSB team — Pierre Carpentier, Robert Fiori, Rabia Khan, Bryan McCrory and Damian Wolff — made it to the semi-finals, finishing in the top nine.

“I could not be prouder of my team's performance,” said coach Tim Field. “Over the week, Rabia struggled with a bad cold and Pierre had the stomach flu and had not eaten for three days. This did not show in their performance once. They remained focused, professional and provided stronger and stronger presentations as the week progressed. It was a real pleasure for me to work with such an intelligent, motivated and dynamic group. They represent the best of JMSB's potential graduates and will undoubtedly have successful business careers.”

For Khan the competiton was “by far, the best experience in the MBA program. The  competition not only helped me learn to analyze a business problem in a structured fashion under a time constraint but also, and more importantly, allowed me to form lifelong friendships with my teammates, our coach and past JMSB teams who came to lend us their support. The competition also provided a venue to meet students from international programs, which is quite an opportunity!”

The most anticipated moment of the competition came when organizers announced the identity of the company that would be presenting the “live case,” which is when members of senior management of a major firm arrive to communicate a business problem to the teams. This year, the surprise company was Montreal-based IT firm, CGI Group. Teams had three hours to prepare their recommendations.

In an interview on CTV Montreal’s News at Noon, Concordia alumnus and Senior Vice-President, Global Communications and Investor Relations at CGI, Lorne Gorber, explained that the company is looking for opportunities for growth and that “the bright young minds at the case competition could bring some of these opportunites forward.”

He also explained that the event offered firms a great opportunity to recruit top talent. “MBA students bring certain strategic elements to businesses like CGI who use technology to solve business problems.” Gorber added that often “these ideas can turn into tangible and strategic business opportunities.”

Related links:
•    John Molson 2012 MBA International Case Competition
•    John Molson School of Business

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