I.C.B.C - A journey to remember...

Monday, March 8, 2021
by Anna, Kyle & Sabrina, AFM students

Coming together again as a group

Anna, Kyle, and Sabrina met in their first year of university as Associates in the ACE Consulting Group. Their collaboration started three years ago working on delivering consulting engagements to start-up clients, and later on leading the ACE team. The three of them worked well together, had a passion for strategy, and enjoyed the thrill of case competitions. After a successful run at the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) Strategy Case Competition, they decided to collaborate again at the International Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.) hosted by Queen’s University. 

Photo of Anna, Kyle and Sabrina

I.C.B.C. started with a preliminary case where we leveraged market and financial analysis skills to develop a 10-page report on the future direction and strategy for a fast-growing retail company. The case was intriguing and provided us with interesting opportunities to exercise creativity, which foreshadowed the final competition. Because of the pandemic, we spent hours over video calls deliberating the proposed strategy and how we wanted to present the final recommendation.

After receiving news that we had moved onto the final round of I.C.B.C., which consisted of a five-hour live case, we began to prepare for the competition *cue Rocky song here*! Preparation involved a five-hour practice dry run case to faculty mentors Mark Arnason and Nancy Vanden Bosch. This aided us in formulating our strategy and approach for the day-of and figuring out what worked for us. 

The day of the competition was extremely nerve-wracking and high pressure. We had played to each other’s strengths to work through the strategy case. We created a short- and a long-term strategy that would bring a leading international luxury fashion brand to the forefront of innovation. We were able to use knowledge learned in the classroom, from courses such as AFM 211 and AFM 433, from our diverse co-op experiences, extra-curricular SAF experiences and catered feedback from our faculty advisors. This was an extremely valuable learning experience, where we gained a deeper level of understanding into business strategy. On top of that, we love that we got another chance to work together again!

We want to end off with a huge thank you to SAF for providing us with this amazing learning experience, and especially to our fearless leaders, Mark Arnason and Nancy Vanden Bosch, for the extensive (and helpful!) coaching to prepare us for the competition.