GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL
– The College of the North Atlantic (CNA) campus in Grand Falls-Windsor is about to be invaded.
For the next three days, CNA students and coaches from all over the province, as well as a group from the college’s Qatar campus, will converge on the central Newfoundland town to showcase their business savvy during the 12th annual Business Case Competition. Twelve teams will face off between Thursday, Nov. 16 and Saturday, Nov. 18.
The competition will open with a potluck meet and greet on Thursday, followed by two days of brain-tasking, problem-solving scenarios. Each team will be presented with four business cases, where they will retreat to find solutions for each and later present them to a panel of judges. Only those who successfully complete the first three scenarios will advance to the final round. The competition will end with a closing dinner and awards banquet at the Mt. Peyton Hotel at 7 p.m.
Stephen Warren, CNA’s Dean of the School of Business & Information Technology, will experience the showdown for the first time, and says this competition is one of many elite events throughout the year to test students and prepare them for their future careers.
“This competition is open to everyone, and not just business students. It aligns perfectly with what our programs have to offer through traditional learning environments, and then applying them in real world settings. The success of these teams will shine through when all the students come together, be it from engineering, business, IT or whatever program they are studying, to solve problems. There are many skills involved in solving problems, and those who are most creative and able to handle the increasing levels of complexity will succeed.”
Joan Pynn, CNA Campus Director in Grand Falls-Windsor, has been involved in the Business Case Competition since 2009, and she likens this event to having “family come home.” Grand Falls-Windsor campus has hosted this event since the beginning, and she said it made geographic sense to keep it there annually.
“If students leave with more knowledge and skills than what they came with,” the educator said she is satisfied that it was a successful event. But the measure of success isn’t limited to this, she adds, when considering the amount of volunteer hours faculty and staff put into planning the three-day event. Added to this momentum is the fact she can rely on a core group of judges to lend their expertise, and she notes she has also come to anticipate their involvement year after year.
To see this commitment and dedication from all sides is what makes Pynn thrilled about this time of year.
“It is a great networking opportunity for these business owners and the students. We tell them these will be their future employers and to learn from their experience,” Pynn said. “The students have said in the past they didn’t realize it was going to be such a great learning experience. When you see the amount of growth in the students when it comes to their presentation skills and approach to solving problems from beginning to end, it is phenomenal. When you look at the different backgrounds of the students; they are so stressed in the classrooms and trying to learn everything, and during the business case competition you see the light bulbs turn on when they realize the theory they learned does have applications in real life. It makes every day a great day when you see the students learn something new.”
College of the North Atlantic