Student teams from the University of Toronto Mississauga have won multiple case-study competitions, raising the profile of the campus and building highly attractive job skills.
This year UTM teams have won first place at four case-study competitions at McMaster University, the University of Waterloo, the University of Toronto’s St. George campus and UTM’s own Show Me the Green (SMG).
Winning offers students lucrative cash prizes and the chance to be noticed by executives from companies like PriceWaterhouseCooper or Deloitte, who are sponsoring or judging the event.
“One thing that’s amazing about these conferences is that the judges are most likely the people you’ll be talking to about your career,” fourth-year accounting student and Show Me the Green chair Awaad Aamir told YourMississaugaBiz.com. “Maybe even the people interviewing you.”
And even if a student isn’t hired as a result of appearing at these competitions, their professional reputation can still get a major boost.
“I hear that a lot, that names circulate around within these companies after they present at these conferences,” Aamir said. “And all it takes is just that one thing that strikes people. That one way to reach out to recruiters and get their attention.”
Aamir said organizing events like SMG, researching case studies and participating in a competitions on other campuses took nine months to plan.
The financial cost of entry was kept relatively low due to help from Undergraduate Commerce Society, who subsidized anyone who participated in external conferences. “Our stay was paid for and our registration fees were also paid for,” Aamir said.
Aamir said case study competitions were also “phenomenal” investments in career and professional development through the judges’ constructive feedback on presentations.
“A lot of people at SMG were disappointed they didn’t win, but it gave them a particular reason why,” he said, “It really does help them improve in terms of presentation and communication.”
Competitions are a practical way for students experience real-world deadlines, innovate and get out of the classroom. “I can’t imagine myself sitting in school just learning and regurgitating information again and not applying it anywhere,” he said, citing his recent prize of a tablet won at McMaster’s Fast Pace to the Case competition.
“It does add a little bit of spice to your study and your life.”