Okanagan College business students to battle the best at Queen’s University

Adrianna Knuth
Image Credit: Okanagan College

Eight students from Okanagan College’s School of Business will be spending their winter break preparing to compete in the final round of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious case competition, Queen’s University’s Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.).

For 21-year-old Adrianna Knuth, being selected to compete on the Human Resources team along with Madison Blancher was a huge honour and after being named one of the top six teams in the preliminary round, the duo aren’t planning on just showing up at Queen’s for the competition: they are heading to Kingston to win.

“I’m feeling very confident about the competition and I’m so excited to represent Okanagan College,” says Knuth. “I think that we will come out on top because the professors here give us a lot of applied knowledge so as a student body we are really well prepared for real life application, which positions us very well in case competitions.”

After a challenging preliminary round, Okanagan College teams made the finals in four categories. Knuth and Blancher will compete in Human Resources and will be coached by professor Roger Wheeler. The College will send an Accounting team made up of Kyla Wiseman and Kirstin Pitzoff, coached by Adrian Fontenla, as well as a team in the category of Management Information Systems made up of Anthony Peterson and Jared Hubner, coached by professor Glen Coulthard.

The fourth team to compete will be named shortly and will present in the debate category. I.C.B.C. does not offer a preliminary competition in debate but ranks the top performing schools in the other seven categories and selects finalists based on the cumulative placing of all the competing teams.

In order to advance to the final round, Okanagan College teams competed against 32 post-secondary institutions from around the world.

“Queen’s I.C.B.C. competition is known to be the pre-eminent business case event in Canada and has growing recognition internationally,” says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “Once again our students are representing our institution extremely well and affirming that they are among the best in the country, if not the world.”

The finals will take place in Kingston from Jan. 19-21 and will include competitors from the University of Toronto, University of Vermont, Queen’s, McGill, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, to name a few.

At the finals, students will be given five hours to review a complex business case within their designated field and prepare a 15-minute presentation for the judging panel, which is comprised of Queen’s professors and senior management professionals from Canada’s largest corporations. No electronic resources are allowed, however, teams can use all the textbooks they had the foresight to bring with them.

Knuth and Blancher plan on spending the better part of their winter break and the early weeks of their January semester preparing for the finals. With a full course load, the extra hours might prove to be challenging for some students but Knuth has a history of taking on challenges and coming out on top.

She is currently in the final year of the Bachelor of Business Administration Honours program. She is scheduled to graduate in June with her honours degree with a major in human resources, a minor in communications, as well as a diploma in management—and she will have completed all of this in just three years.

After Knuth graduates she plans on working in human resources and then eventually running her own company. CEO is a title she sees in her future and given her work ethic and drive, her ambitions of becoming part of an executive team don’t seem far from her reach.

For now, Knuth has her sights set on a first-place finish at I.C.B.C. and would be honoured to bring home the title to Okanagan College.


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