KELOWNA - Two individual students and a team from Okanagan College were recognized at the Western Canadian Business Competition (WCBC) hosted at the College’s Kelowna campus last weekend.
WCBC is a comprehensive undergraduate business competition in which student teams are tasked with running a simulated business scenario – exploring everything from marketing to HR – over the course of a hypothetical eight-year timeframe. First-, second- and third-year business students compete at the junior level, while fourth-year students compete as seniors.
At the junior level, the host team from Okanagan College finished second to Capilano University, while College of New Caledonia came third. Capilano was also victorious at the senior level, besting teams from (second-place) Medicine Hat College and (third-place) McMaster University.
“Our team is so proud of the way we worked together and supported one another in the decision making process throughout the competition,” says Loni Johnson, a member of the College’s Junior team and a second-year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree student at the Kelowna campus.
“We prepared for more than six weeks,” explains Johnson. “So there has been a huge amount of collaboration and growing together as a team. We also received incredible support from our coaches throughout all that time, which helped us feel ready when the competition began.”
The junior team from OC was coached by Okanagan College School of Business professors Scott Overland and Dan Allen.
“It is a privilege to witness Okanagan College students competing in, and professors and employees organizing, such a professional and well-run business competition,” says Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of the College’s School of Business. “In addition to competing at a high level, the teams from Okanagan College were gracious hosts and showcased their skills as they applied their education for which our College and School of Business are renowned. All of the feedback we received confirmed it was a rewarding experience for participants.”
It proved to be a memorable weekend indeed for Johnson and her teammate and fellow first-time competitor Mindy Strugnell. In recognition for their contributions, which helped propel the College’s team to a second place showing, Johnson and Strugnell were presented with the VP Operations Award and the VP HR Award, respectively.
“We couldn’t believe it when the awards we announced,” said Johnson. “As first-time competitors, I think we were both a little shocked. I definitely came away inspired to compete again.”
WCBC has been running for almost three decades. The College has hosted for the past six years. 2017 sponsors included Shaw, Interior Savings and CIBC.
According to Dr. Lynn Sparling, one of organizers for WCBC, support from the business community once again played an important role in the event’s success.
“In addition to the wonderful financial support needed to put on an event of this scale, the local business community really stepped up again in lending their time and expertise to students,” says Sparling, who teaches with the Okanagan College School of Business.
“We had 11 judges from the community who volunteered for three days. That feedback from industry professionals really elevates the competition and enriches the learning experience for students.”
For more information about WCBC, go to www.okanagan.bc.ca/wcbc.
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