TRSM suits up, tears down competition

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By Lara Onayak and Badri Murali

The Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh brought the issue of corporate social responsibility into the Canadian mainstream last April, and highlighted the need for tomorrow’s executives to swiftly respond when faced with consumer backlash.

Enter Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) students who learn first-hand about these situations through case competitions.

After one recent win at the Rotman MBA Net Impact CSR Case Competition, Ryerson is ready for the next competition: the Battle on Bay Street.

Ryerson placed in first and third places among 18 teams at the Rotman MBA Net Impact CS Case Competition held on Jan. 25. Teams came from York University, Queen’s University, University of Toronto and other institutions from across the province.

Case competitions pit teams against one another to find the best solution to a business problem.

“It’s about using basic material and a problem statement to find the best possible solution,” said Dale Carl, the main coach of the team and director of graduate students at the TRSM.

This competition focused on corporate social responsibility.

Students were asked to leverage TD Bank’s green initiatives to the benefit of its stakeholders.

TD Bank’s environmental efforts include promoting paperless banking, energy diversity and financing and insuring electric vehicles.

In this competition, the problem was given to teams two weeks in advance. On the day of the competition, teams had to present to a panel of judges.

The winning team consisted of four MBA students: Nicole Karolyi, Aileen O’Doherty, Alessia Di Geso and David Bende. They won $3,000 altogether.

“A lot of hours, work and laughs went into the final product and it was something we were all incredibly proud of,” said O’Doherty.

On Feb. 7 and 8, undergraduate finance students from different institutions will be competing in a two-day conference known as the Battle on Bay Street. This will be the conference’s fifth year of competition.

Seven teams will compete to win the first prize of $3,000.

Thurukka Sivanantharajah, a fourth-year finance major, will be participating again this year.

“The commitment overall is pretty intense,” said Sivanantharajah. “The four of us will be meeting nine hours next week to review, debrief and strategize.”

Her team has been practicing their case cutting skills, presentation skills and learning various financial concepts.

“It’s incredibly fulfilling,” said Sivanantharajah. “Nothing is comparable to the feeling of doing well after working so hard.”

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