As a marketing assistant intern, Medicine Hat College (MHC) student, Shannon Bergstreser was tasked this summer with expanding experiential learning opportunities for post-secondary students. Along the way, she has witnessed the education model first-hand.
“Experiential learning is about learning through doing,” says Bergstreser. “Instead of someone explaining a concept to you, you work with it yourself. Through the experience of doing it hands-on, you get a deeper understanding of the main concept and complimentary ones, optimizing the learning.”
Bergstreser is working as a summer student with MHC business instructor Miranda Davies. The project consisted of two parts: write and present a paper on experiential learning, and develop an opportunity for students to participate in experiential learning.
The report reflects research Bergstreser conducted this summer, and her own experiences. “I’ve contacted a lot of other schools to see what kind of opportunities they have for students and found great examples and some gaps. This environmental scan along with my experience at a previous case conference led us to develop the Southern Alberta Advertising Case Competition (SAACC).”
SAACC will be held at Medicine Hat College and is the first advertising case competition in southern Alberta. Taking place in March, Bergstreser is hoping to see teams from across western Canada at the three day competition where they will work through a real-world business challenge. Teams will present their finished products at a public pitch competition on March 10.
Bergstreser hopes that competitors will learn a lot through SAACC. “They will have to apply the foundational skills they’ve learned in class, such as marketing research, branding and advertising theory. Then they will also gain soft skills from the competition like working in a team, problem solving and conflict resolution. And, the pitches will be judged and open to the public, so the students will definitely learn something from that experience!”
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