Oct. 23, 2015
Haskayne to host top leadership case competition for MBA students
MBA students from across Canada will soon find out if they have what it takes to be a leader in business at the second annual East meets West MBA Leadership Case Competition on Feb. 11 to 13, 2016 at the Haskayne School of Business.
The event is a joint venture between Haskayne’s Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business and Ivey Business School’s Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership at Western University. The competition will challenge MBA students through real-life business cases to balance the fiscal demands of effective business with the ethical demands of effective leadership.
Leighton Wilks, Haskayne instructor and the team’s coach, believes this case competition is paramount in developing leadership skills.
“Last year, we weren’t sure what to expect given it was the first year of the competition. It turned out to be a huge success; the competition gave our team exposure to different angles of solving ethical issues, which is an incredible skill to have," he says.
“Overall, the competition was an amazing experience that enabled us to network with other schools and learn from other MBA students and faculty. I am very excited to see what this next year will bring.”
Pictured above are, from left: Leighton Wilks, instructor and team coach; Patrick Keogh; Heather Hirst; Rohan Surve; Jesse Solheim; and faculty advisers Julian Norris, and Piers Steel. They make up the 2015 Haskayne Ivey Leadership Case Competition team.
Competition supports leadership research at Canadian business schools
The East meets West MBA Leadership Case Competition features a total of 12 teams from Canadian business schools — six from Eastern Canada and six from the West — and it aims to be the premier leadership competition in Canada. The goal of the competition is to support the advancement of leadership research in business schools across Canada as well as to challenge students to work together in order to find a solution to difficult real-life business problems.
Besides the incorporation of ethical leadership, what makes this case competition so unique? Students compete within their school teams but are also then required to team up with students from other schools across Canada to solve one of the cases; making this a truly national student experience.
“This competition really rounds out the student experience and connects you with individuals that you wouldn’t have otherwise worked with,” says Wilks. “It is a great way to develop presentation and speaking skills while learning about leadership, ethical issues and corporate responsibility.”
Learning and networking opportunity showcases industry from both coasts
Last year, Heather Hirst, Jesse Solheim, Patrick Keogh, and Rohan Surve, represented Haskayne while attending the competition at Western University's Ivey Business School. This year, Haskayne is hosting the competition. Surve is an international student and viewed the competition as a great way to build a community at Haskayne. He says, “when doing an MBA, it is very important to get involved in extra activities.
"I am originally from India and found that this case competition was a great way to learn about Canadian culture and to connect with students and top-tier industry representatives from across the country," says Surve.
“The west coast and east coast in Canada have completely different industry focus. This competition is key to networking and learning about different Canadian cultures and companies. This case competition looks really good to employers outside of Calgary.
“This competition was not only a great way to pump up my résumé, but I believe that one of the organizations at the competition hired members of the winning team. It is a great way to advance your career or show employers that you are interested in trying new things and challenging yourself.”
Competition teaches valuable workplace skills
Solheim had previous exposure to case competitions and knows how valuable they are.
"Looking back at these competitions, I learned to trust my intuition and my abilities. This was an incredible opportunity that taught me a lot," he says.
“These competitions highlight different personalities that challenge you to think in ways that you never would have before. It is an extremely good skill to have in the workplace.”
Find out more about the East meets West MBA Leadership Case Competition.