The Un iversity of Lethbridge's Faculty of Management recognized four of its students who brought home second-place honours and $1,000 from the 32nd Annual Manitoba International Marketing Competition and Conference (MIMC), at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg recently.
The team, only the second Faculty group to participate in the MIMC, included students Jesse Zimmer, Kevin Harding and Kurtis Nicholson - all fourth-year students - along with Alex Glydon, in his first year at the U of L.Zimmer, the only student to have competed in the event previously, is very pleased with the team's second-place finish, particularly in light of their relatively minimal experience.
"Many of the other teams had taken classes that prepared them for the competition - this is something we did on our own time," says Zimmer, "and not all of us are marketing majors."
The multi-major team relied on its expertise in a number of areas, including economics, accounting and, of course, marketing. The students feel their diverse skill set contributed significantly to their success.
"Coming from a management background helped us 150 per cent," says Zimmer. "We had to show we were good in different areas. All of us understand the basics and that made a big difference."
The MIMC challenges teams of three to five students from an undergraduate business program and is comprised of three elements: a simulation, a strategy statement, and presentations. Students apply knowledge from the areas of production, human resources, finance, research and development and marketing.
Harding, Management Students' Society President for 2013-2014 and a veteran of several other business competitions, echoes Zimmer's thoughts on the team's well-rounded expertise.
"We had good general knowledge as a team and made all our decisions together," he says. "That really showed in the question-and-answer portion of the competition."
The MIMC's simulation rounds begin locally in mid-October, with teams submitting their ideas and proposals for marketing a given product online. There, they are viewed by all other competitors and further decisions and refinements to the proposals can be made.
"It gets more interesting and interactive [at this point], and there is more competition" says Nicholson. "Then you develop your strategy statement and implement your ideas."
More recently, the MIMC has included a conference, where students have the opportunity to network and hear industry speakers from businesses like Princess Auto and Warehouse 1 Jeans. All of the students feel the event was a valuable learning opportunity and they are hopeful that U of L teams will continue to compete in the future.
"I gained a lot of knowledge from others," says Glydon. "It helped me realize I made the right decision as an accounting major."
Glydon will return next year to continue his program, and looks to add other competitions and events to his overall educational experience.
Nicholson, who has one more year to complete his degree, also plans to join MSS and JDC. "...but I wish I'd started getting involved in clubs and competitions sooner," he says.
Zimmer will graduate this spring and will be exploring his career opportunities, along with Harding, who hopes to continue his involvement with MSS on a non-student basis as a mentor and consultant.