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Schulich team wins inaugural case competition in sustainability

Schulich team wins inaugural case competition in sustainability

A team of MBA students from York’s Schulich School of Business has won the inaugural 2011 Schulich International Case Competition in Sustainability held at the school Nov. 25 and 26.

Two weeks before the competition, the 17 teams received the case study, featuring a complex issue facing the mining industry written by Schulich executive-in-residence Richard Ross, former chairman and CEO of Inmet Mining Corporation, and Carolyn Burns, an MBA student and president of the Schulich Natural Resource Opportunity Club.

The Schulich team of Michelle Hassen, Deanna Wu, Rafal Smerd and Jeff Butchereit beat 16 other teams from leading Canadian and US business schools, including Columbia Business School, Fletcher School from Tufts University and Queen’s School of Business. The winning team members will share a cash prize of $5,000.

Left: Winners of the  Schulich International Case Competition in Sustainability, from left, Deanna Wu, Michelle Hassen, Rafal Smerd and Jefferey Butchereit

The students had just two weeks to research, write and practise their presentation. In the first round on Saturday, the winning Schulich team faced teams from Dalhousie University, University of Alberta and Carleton University. During the second and final round, the Schulich team beat teams from University of Toronto, Ryerson University and the University of Alberta to take the top prize.

“In the final, our winning team presented the most viable, well-researched and impactful solution to a real-world problem facing the global mining industry,” said Ross. “Their case analysis was right on target and their presentation skills were also excellent.”

The event included networking and social events. Keynote addresses were given by Kinross Gold Corporation CEO Tye Burt and Joanne Alexander, vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary at Precision Drilling, one of the companies that assisted in the rescue of the 33 trapped Chilean miners. 

Right: Richard Ross 

According to Peter Sinclair, vice-president of corporate social responsibility at Barrick Gold Corporation, “This was an excellent event. The case presented students with a complex, real-life situation facing mining companies today. I was greatly impressed by the level of understanding students brought to the case as well as their creative solutions to address these real-world challenges. As these students represent future executives and CEOs of mining companies, our industry is certainly in good hands.”

In addition to Alexander, the other judges for the event included mining industry business leaders, such as Rick McCreary, senior vice-president, corporate development, Barrick Gold Corporation, and Ross Gallinger, executive director, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. A full list of the judges can be found at the Schulich International Case Competition in Sustainability website.

“The MBA case competition will be an annual event at Schulich School of Business and we look forward to the continued support of the mining sector. Schulich School of Business is known for being a leader in sustainability issues,” said MBA student Kendal Bradley, president of the Schulich Case Analysis Club, which hosted the event in collaboration with Schulich’s Natural Resources Opportunities Club and Net Impact Club.

“This is the only MBA-level student case competition in mining, and I believe discussing the current challenges in sustainability and corporate responsibility faced by the industry will help to ensure an event that is educational, timely and stimulating. The winning team came up with an innovative solution to a vexing industry problem and some of the industry judges indicated they were going to look into adopting some of the practices presented.” said Bradley, a member of the winning team at the 2011 Rotman Net-Impact Case Competition earlier this year.

“These events are a great opportunity for business students to connect with students with similar interests and to make valuable industry contacts that they will be able to draw on in the future,”

The core sponsor for the Schulich International Case Competition was Barrick Gold. Additional sponsors at the gold level included Goldcorp, HudBay Minerals, IAMGOLD, Kinross Gold and New Gold. Silver sponsors included Avalon Rare Metals, Dundee Precious Metals, Inmet Mining and Teck Resources. Bronze sponsors were Banro Corporation, Bedford Resources and the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada. 

Republished courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin.