By Adrian Morrow
When a group of Ryerson MBA students made their first showing at a national competition earlier this month, they scored third place in the overall academic category, beating out big-name teams such as the Shulich School of Business.
Not bad for Ryerson’s MBA program, in its first year of existence. While other schools, backed by big corporate sponsors, fielded teams of 30 or more, Ryerson’s 16-member team was roughly half that size, said team captain Brian Yoon.
The team also lacked corporate sponsorship. The games were won by McMaster. From Jan. 4th to 6th, Yoon and several fellow Ryerson students competed in the MBA Games, an annual event that matches teams of business masters students from schools across the country against each other in a series of competitions.
The group spoke of its experience Friday. The games were hosted by the University of Alberta and included a range of contests, including two case competitions, a series of athletic events, volunteer service and two “spirit competitions” — one involved stuffing people into a Mini Cooper.
“I was pressed against the windshield,” recalled Yoon. The case competitions, in which Ryerson placed third and fourth, involved a strategy and a marketing case.
Four team members were given a real-life business scenario and were stuck in a room for two hours to figure out a solution. They also had to create a PowerPoint presentation. By comparison, students typically have a week to work out a solution on similar case studies, said team member Lyle Shipley.
The marketing case dealt with the current situation of Alberta-based Vicom, one of the games’ sponsors. “They claimed they’d be using pieces of the presentations (in their real-life strategy),” said Darrell Wronko, a member of the marketing case team.
The MBA team members said meeting business students from across Canada and showing off Ryerson’s new program was an important part of the games. “We need to work on brand recognition (for Ryerson), especially outside of southern Ontario,” said Wronko.