By Jaclyn Tansil
University students from all over Canada came to Toronto for the seventh annual Ted Rogers Management Conference (TRMC) that ran from Thursday to Saturday..
The conference was created to address whether or not students are prepared for today’s workforce and if university degrees alone are enough of a preparation.
“Through the conferences that we did and the workshops, those skills and those stories that we heard will really benefit us in the future when we do enter the workforce, so I do believe that they did a good job with closing the gap,” said Maria Lionti, a 2nd year business management student at Ryerson.
120 of the 150 delegates chosen to attend this year’s conference were picked from various programs from Ryerson. The other 30 delegates chosen were selected from 13 other schools across Canada.
“Though it is housed in the business school, it is not a business major conference, and we did our best this year to reach out to all other programs. This is not the Ted Rogers accounting conference, this is not [the] Ted Rogers Marketing conference, this is a business conference as it relates to people trying to succeed,” said Michael Zelma, chair of TRMC.
The conference contains 21 events that are broken up over three days, including a case competition that was hosted this year by Toronto City Councillor Norm Kelly.
Delegates form teams of six and will try to come up with a solution to a case that is relevant to the Toronto community.
“We have different kind of objectives in life, and we all bring them together here, and a perfect example of that is the case competition where six strangers … come together and work for an hour and a half on a presentation. No matter the kind of person that comes to the conference they are always amazing people and they are always eager to learn,” said Zelma.
Influenced by Kelly, this year’s case competition took on a City Hall matter regarding funding issues for the revitalization of Toronto Community Housing buildings and the relief line expansion, which is a new rapid transit line that connects downtown Toronto to the Bloor-Danforth Subway Line.
“The city of Toronto is facing a very stiff international competition from other major cities around the world. And in order to meet that competition, in order to preserve the quality of life we have now and hopefully enhance it, the city government needs a sustainable source of revenue that it can rely on to build [what] modern cities need and the social infrastructure that we must have as well,” said Kelly.
Out of 25 teams, four of them are chosen to present their case in front of a panel of judges. However, this year, the judges felt that five teams should get their chance to present. The teams that placed first and second both received a cash prize; $200 to each delegate in the winning team and the runner ups each received $100.
“I’m really pleased that Ryerson took up the challenge and the students implemented that challenge in their response,” said Kelly, “So I’m leaving here with a lot [of ideas]. My head is just swarming with ideas and I have a lot to talk about with my colleagues when I get back next week.”