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Business students travel to Montréal to compete in national marketing competition

April 11, 2022

Applying classroom knowledge, building team bonds and networking with students from across the country are all benefits cited by Medicine Hat College (MHC) students after competing at the Vanier College Case Challenge in Montréal last month. This marketing-focused event challenged 12 Canadian post-secondary teams to analyze a business problem and create a marketing plan in just three hours, then present their strategies to a panel of judges.

Competitors from MHC included second-year accounting students, Alysha Kuntz and Phoebe Gamao, and second-year management student, Madeline Schmaltz. In the months leading up to the event, the team trained on evenings and weekends along with their alternate teammate, second-year management student, Logan Resch. Accompanied by business administration instructor and coordinator, Miranda Davies, the team travelled to Quebec to compete on Mar. 4 -5.

Their challenge was to solve a marketing problem for a successful Canadian tea company.

“One of their products was for flash freeze-dried tea leaves. The amazing thing about this product is it does not taste bitter, but the problem is no one thinks to go to the frozen aisles for tea,” explains Kuntz. “When you think tea, you go to the dry storage aisles. So how could we make customers aware of where they can find this product?”

The students worked together to create creative solutions to answer that question.

“Seventy percent of the company’s sales were because people tried the tea so we came up with a demo-and-dash idea,” says Schmaltz. “We would go to corporate lobbies, gyms and businesses to set up our demo station so they can come and try the tea. Then we would give them information on how to find the tea.” Reflecting on the competition, the students acknowledged what they each excelled at individually, as well as a team. Schmaltz adds, “It was so amazing to take our business administration classes and put them all together. [The case challenge] was a great opportunity to figure out yourself, what you’re good at and what you are actually passionate about. I am thankful for the experience.”

The students agree the biggest takeaway is their connection to each other. Says Gamao, “Overall, it was a really great bonding experience for the four of us because we didn’t really know each other that well outside of classes. Working with them was really great.”

As the team members are all in their final year of the business administration program, most will not be eligible to compete at the 2023 competition; however, Kuntz and Gamao intend to pursue their advanced accounting certificate next year and would participate again if given the opportunity.

To learn more about MHC business programs, please click here.