From Taylor Swift to the diamond and cryptocurrency industry: Our experience at I.C.B.C.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024
by Rachel and Aryaman

The Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C) at Queen’s University is one of Canada’s oldest case competitions. We, Rachel and Aryaman, both Computing and Financial Management (CFM) students, had the privilege of competing in and placing first in the finance stream of the competition this past January.

First, there was a preliminary qualifying round in October for which we had to prepare a PowerPoint and 10-minute virtual presentation where we discussed an innovative financing solution for an art charity in downtown Toronto.

We passed this intense first round and progressed to the finals!

Aryaman and Rachel team picture

Aryaman (left) and Rachel (right)

Once we arrived for the weekend in Kingston, we quickly learned that the finals were quite different from the qualifying round, as they included many fun activities. On the first day, the competition began with a creative case where each school had the opportunity to present their solution to revitalize the leisure and entertainment industry in Kingston. After recommending and dressing up as Taylor Swift and Drake, our team was awarded the most creative solution and subsequently some bragging rights after we performed hit singles from both artists. 

Finally, the case for the last round was delivered. We were given 5 hours to prepare a PowerPoint presentation and we presented our analysis and recommendation in front of a panel of judges for 15 minutes. 

The day of the competition was exhilarating, stressful and time-intensive, but most importantly, it was fun. We got the chance to learn about Diamond Standard, a company where two very intricate industries intersect, diamonds and cryptocurrency. We did our best to put ourselves in the shoes of a business that broke down the barriers of commodity trading and we learned a tremendous amount about this fast-developing and unique space.

Aside from getting to explore Kingston during the harsh winter, one of the most interesting opportunities that arose from the competition was that we were contacted by Diamond Standard the company the final round case was about. They found us after we made a LinkedIn post about our win! Based in New York, the company invited us to a 30-minute chat where we got to meet their Chief Revenue Officer and Assistant Vice President of Investor Relations. We got to learn more about their business and internship program, opening the door to some great opportunities

We are grateful for all the incredible experiences that the finance event at I.C.B.C offered us and would wholeheartedly recommend the competition to other undergraduate students.