Beedie MBAs win big at international business ethics case competition

May 17, 2013

The IBECC team. From left to right: Winnie So, Laura Anderson, Erin Lane, and Sophie Collins.

A team of MBA students from the Beedie School of business has dominated the field at the prestigious Intercollegiate Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC), taking first place in the 10-minute presentation and winning silver in the 30-minute presentation.

The team, consisting of SFU MBA students Sophie Collins, Laura Anderson and Erin Lane, and Management of Technology MBA student Winnie So, emerged victorious from a strong field of 25 competing teams from across the globe, including such distinguished institutions as the University of Oxford, INSEAD, Dartmouth and Copenhagen Business School.

The IBECC, held this year at Loyola Marymount University in San Diego, California from May 8 to 10, is the oldest and most-recognized business ethics competition of its kind. In addition to the competition, it allows students to learn about organizational ethics through conference sessions and networking with the world’s leading ethics and compliance officers.

Competing teams participated in three different competitions in total: a full 30 minute presentation, a shortened 10 minute presentation and a 90 second brief, all of which were judged by practicing ethics and compliance professionals. Each team was allowed to choose a topic from any area of business ethics and make recommendations to solve the problem based on their research and analysis.

The Beedie team’s winning presentation, focusing on Canadian mining company Barrick Gold, was rewarded with two trophies and prize money of $250 each. The team opted to base their case on a Canadian company after receiving advice from their coaches, Beedie School of Business assistant professor Stephanie Bertels and senior lecturer Kathleen Burke.

“The Intercollegiate Business Ethics Case Competition was a fantastic learning experience and we are very proud to bring the title home for the Beedie School of Business,” said Collins. “The support we received from the school, in particular our coaches Stephanie and Kathleen was instrumental in our success. The competition was nerve-racking, but our decision to focus on a company close to home and approach the case from a business standpoint helped separate us from the other teams.”

The team’s success is made all the more impressive after being forced to overcome a number of obstacles in the build up to the competition, the most difficult of which involved four of the team embarking on a cross-cultural learning trip to South America as part of the MBA program in the weeks prior to the competition.

“The MBA cross-cultural trip was an amazing experience, allowing us to experience business in different cultures and gain valuable advice that helped us in the case competition from people in the local mining industry,” said Collins. “Although the timing of the trip coincided with our preparation time for the competition, the team’s dedication ensured we were able to work around this through a series of early-morning Skype sessions.”

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