Tomorrow’s business leaders

Photo: Peter Durand

For the second time in thirteen years, Vanier College has won a gold medal at the Canada business development bank (BDC) Case Challenge, a prestigious marketing competition held two weeks ago at the Dorval Marriott Courtyard Hotel. This nationally recognised, bilingual, college-level event pits students from across Canada against each other to test their marketing skills.

Vanier’s team includes Isaiah Paul-Cole, Krystal Milo, Dylan Papineau and Isabella Mirasola, and with guidance from their teachers David Moscovitz as head coach and Peter Vogopoulos as their assistant coach, they finished in first place  by beating the 23 other participating colleges.

The BDC Case Challenge is two days filled with daunting time constraints and pressure. Teams must build an entire marketing strategy in only three hours, isolated in a room with no internet or access to the outside world. They then must work together to iron out a presentable strategy in a 20 minute power point for a panel of three judges.

The first day was the case of a failing CrossFit gym. « We had practiced the timing on other cases, so that was ok. We also knew to place an emphasis on how to rescue a failing business and to keep in mind the bottom dollar, » explains team member Krystal Milo.

The Vanier students and five other finalists moved on to a new case about a very successful daycare on day two.

The strategies were scored with criteria focused on the cohesiveness of the team, their presentation skills and more pressing, their ability to offer a strategy that can be immediately implemented. The silver prize was awarded to Algonquin College while bronze honours went to Nova Scotia Community College.


Since fall, the third year students’ classes have been practicing case studies. Once the Challenge team was chosen, they had an intensive session over the holiday break to prepare.

« We tested ourselves by analyzing business problems and creating a marketing strategy from scratch to get the feel of the Challenge, » explained Mirasola.

As the alternate member of the team, she spent the weekend watching the presentations, taking notes and evaluating performances.

The team is now preparing for the April 15 Dawson College annual Bilingual Business Administration Case Competition.

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