by Peter Mills
Hostile takeovers, bankruptcy and fierce financial battles with competitors are often a part of business – it’s ruthless.
But for 49 students at the University of Regina’s Paul J. Hill School of Business, competition is a good thing. That’s why they’re taking part in the 6th annual Jeux de Commerce (JDC) West Business Competition in Saskatoon.
“Even though you are competing against each other it’s really like you are making 600 friends ... I am very competitive but instead of having a hostile, adversarial approach you come in actually wanting to meet your competitors and really have fun and grow with them,” he said.
JDC West is the largest student run business competition in Western Canada and features over 500 students from 11 Canadian universities.
Fourth-year business student, Tyler Willox will attend his fifth JDC West competition this year.
Students will compete in academic and athletic challenges, as well as a charity initiative. In the academic portion, participants have three hours to deconstruct cases, find a solution and present their results to experts in that particular field.
Willox said the event is unique because it provides first- to fourth-year business students the opportunity to get involved.
“It helped me get more excited about the academic part of my career and got me to work harder because I wanted to come back to the competition and represent (the U of R),” he said.
Fourth-year business student Katie Honey, who will be competing for the first time, said the benefit of JDC West to her education is significant.
“You learn the concepts and definitions in class but you actually have to take it and apply it to a real-life situation. It feels like there is a purpose for all the things I have been learning over the years,” said Honey.
The U of R’s success at the competition in the past three years – three straight second-place finishes – coincides with a time of economic success in Saskatchewan.
Fourth-year business student Eric Moser, who attended the competition last year, said he was very proud to promote growth and innovation in the province.
“Finishing second place for the past three years has paid off for not just students but the entire University of Regina. Any faculty will gain from that success and exposure,” he said.
Willox and Honey believe the JDC West competition has improved the reputation of the Paul J. Hill School of Business considerably, whether in rankings done by Maclean’s magazine or within Canada’s business community.
“We’re ambassadors for our school. When we do good it makes the university look really good. I think the community will be extremely happy with what we have done so far this year,” said Honey.
Raising money for charity has already helped the community. Events like “Chillin’ for Charity” – which saw URSU president Kyle Addison dive into a freezing cold outdoor pool this winter – were held to raise money for the Raise-a-Reader campaign. Last year, $21,390 was raised. The team expects this year’s total to be slightly higher.
The JDC West Competition will be Jan. 14-16 at the Radisson Hotel in Saskatoon.
Photo by Peter Mills