Reflections on the #DoBusinessLikeACDN Case Competition

Reflections on the #DoBusinessLikeACDN Case Competition

Alex Friesen (left) stands with fellow business students.

Senior Ambrose business students in the Advanced Strategy class competed in a mini case competition as part of the Canadian Business for Social Responsibility’s #dobusinesslikeaCDN initiative. The winners have been invited to the Calgary kick-off in April. One of the members of the winning team, Alexandria Friesen shares on her experience.

Participating in the #dobusinesslikeaCDN case competition last semester as part of my Advanced Strategy class was a unique experience for me, and one that I am very glad to have had at Ambrose.  Before attending the Soul of the Next Economy in the fall, my group members and myself had never heard of the initiative before, but it was intriguing to us. We weren’t sure what to expect when it was announced that the first round of a case competition would be part of a class assignment. The first round of the competition was both challenging and rewarding, but most importantly, it allowed us to professionally develop ourselves and exposed us to an industry that we previously had no experience with.

I had done a case competition before – last year in February – but the other members of my group had not, so we had to learn the structure and process for performing case competitions together from the ground up. One of the challenges that my group faced in constructing our case was the fact that we were not familiar with the agricultural fertilizer industry, which is the industry that Nutrien, the company that our case competition was based on, is in. I had a little bit of background in the agricultural industry due to my childhood, but the overall realm of fertilizer was new for us. We had to do extensive research to learn about the industry in order to have an effective presentation. Once we started doing specific research, we had a lot of in-depth information that had to be organized and only the most important aspects could be presented. This was really difficult for us, because when you are doing the research all of it seems important, but we learned that having too much information in a case can make it weaker and difficult to follow.

I believe that competitions like this are really important for the business program at Ambrose overall, because they can really help students learn a new kind of fast-paced and time-sensitive problem-solving work skills that our future employers will recognize and value. The external judges were also a very valuable asset because the feedback was from a perspective that we are not accustomed to. Having this external exposure also increased the sense of rivalry between groups in the competition. Depending on who you ask, this could be positive or negative, but I think that it really increased the quality of the presentations overall and demonstrated the talent that exists in this year’s graduating class. Overall, being part of an experience like this that is not always available to us at Ambrose was very valuable, and I hope that its impact will carry forward into future years.

About the Author: 

Alexandria will be graduating from the Ambrose business administration program in 2019. She plans to join Myers Norris Penny in Calgary and pursue her CPA accounting designation. She has been activity involved with the business program, student council, tutoring, and various other endeavours while at Ambrose.  

Student Blog