Ideas with Impact
UNB Faculty of Management

UNB competitive in another domain: team places third in competition

Author: Luke Saunders

Posted on Feb 27, 2019

Category: Students

When they signed up to compete in the 14th Annual Organizational Behaviour Case Competition this year, four UNB business students said they were in it for the learning experience and the chance to network with professionals in the human resources industry. Molly Grace Pittman, Jenna O’Brien, Gabby Schenkels, and Maddy Graves, all second-year students in the BBA program, found themselves competing against teams of senior students from business schools across Canada, many of whom had participated in competitions before. When the winning teams were announced, the four UNB students were shocked and thrilled to hear, “Third prize goes to the University of New Brunswick!”

Hosted by Ted Rogers School of Management’s Human Resources Student Association, the Organizational Behaviour Case Competition is the largest conference of its kind, as well as the largest gathering of aspiring human resources and organizational behaviour professionals across Canada. The competition unites students and faculty of the top business schools in the country, along with distinguished industry leaders, to explore and tackle a challenging problem from the organizational behaviour industry.

When they arrived at the competition, their biggest challenge, confessed Pittman, was to try not to be intimidated. “Most of the teams were intimidating because they were from larger schools, had been training with coaches much longer than us and had competed in other competitions before.”

The competition offered students the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge to a case study; students were able to attend workshops that helped them improve their skills in analyzing cases and in presenting their strategies. In hindsight, the four UNB students think their inexperience helped give them a fresh perspective, Pittman said, “Because we hadn’t been training for the competition I believe we were able to analyze the case in a unique way and I think that is what set us apart and pushed us into third place.”

As they were waiting for the announcements, Pittman and O’Brien agreed that even if they placed last, the competition was still an “amazing experience.” It was only seconds after this when they learned they placed third in the competition. All four students agree that the competition was an experience that they would not forget.

UNB business students have won in competitions focusing on finance, venture capital investment and sales in recent years, but this is the first time a team from the Faculty of Business Administration has placed in the Organizational Behaviour Case Competition. Dr. Patrick Bruning (associate professor of organizational behaviour) and Kennedy Forret (vice-president academic for the Business Administration Undergraduate Society) helped to coach the four students in a trial case-analysis session prior to the competition.  When Bruning learned that they won third place, he noted, “This team of students were very proactive in determining their eventual success. They really took it upon themselves to focus on ensuring that they would perform well in their first competition. It was so encouraging to see them turn a little feedback into such a strong performance.”

Furthermore, he added, “This shows our students are competitive on the national stage in yet another domain, organization behaviour and human resources.”

Photo: L-R, Molly Grace Pittman, Jenna O’Brien, Gabby Schenkels and Maddy Graves won third prize in the 14th Annual Organizational Behaviour Case Competition hosted by the Ted Rogers School of Management’ Human Resources Student Association.

For more information contact, contact Liz Lemon-Mitchell.

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