Beedie imparts case competition success strategy to Surrey high schools

Jun 10, 2015
Students from three Surrey High Schools gathered at the SFU Surrey campus to compete in the  inaugural Surrey School District Business Case Competition.

Students from three Surrey High Schools gathered at the SFU Surrey campus to compete in the inaugural Surrey School District Business Case Competition.

Undergraduate students at the Beedie School of Business have enjoyed considerable success in case competitions in recent years, with 2015 alone resulting in almost 20 top three finishes at prestigious competitions across the globe so far.

Not content to rest on their laurels, however, the Beedie undergraduate team is now aiming to set students on the path to competition success from an even younger age –before they have even graduated from high school.

The Beedie School of Business recently played host to three Surrey high schools – North Surrey Secondary School, Tamawanis Secondary, and Fleetwood Park Secondary – competing in the inaugural Surrey School District Business Case Competition (SDDBCC).

The event, held on May 25 at the SFU Surrey campus, presented competitors with a previously unseen case. Students were given two and a half hours to solve the problem before presenting their solution in front of a panel of guest judges.

“Partnering with Surrey’s high schools is part of how the Beedie School of Business is engaging with the concept of Business education in action within the Surrey community,” says Casey Dorin, Executive Director of Undergraduate Programs at the Beedie School of Business. “Through case competitions, students benefit from a rich experiential learning environment, and learn how to apply academic theory to real life business challenges.”

Working in close partnership with teachers at North Surrey Secondary School to develop case training, Beedie alumnus and founder of the Beedie Case Competition Training Program Matt Martell hosted a professional development session designed to enable the high schools’ teachers to develop their own business case competition clubs.

“Partnering with SFU Beedie allowed us to put high school case competitions into action, and the support we received from Rosanne Ng at the Beedie Undergraduate Student Engagement Office was instrumental in turning the idea into reality,” says Jennifer Schutz, teacher at North Surrey Secondary School. “Our students not only received invaluable case-cracking workshops from Matt Martell, but the Beedie School of Business also provided them with numerous opportunities to experience case competitions both as spectators and as participants.”

The SDDBCC was the latest in a series of Surrey high school case competitions in which the Beedie School of Business has been actively involved. On May 24 the Segal Graduate School played host to a case competition organized by TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE), a not-for-profit organization that helps high school students learn about the challenges and rewards of becoming an entrepreneur.

The partnership with TYE leverages the Beedie School of Business’ strong focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. Several Beedie faculty and staff coached and judged the competition, including Sarah Lubik, co-director of Technology Entrepreneurship@SFU, and a lecturer in entrepreneurship and innovation at the Beedie School of Business.

As well, the Beedie School of Business helped coordinate and plan the North Surrey Secondary School Invitational (NSSSI), held on April 11. The partnership saw Beedie faculty, staff, and alumni source competition judges, design the case, and coach the students.

This inaugural high school invitational also ignited case competitions clubs at other schools in the lower mainland, and will potentially lead to a High School Case Competition Circuit next year.

“SFU’s amazing support has enabled our club members to compete in multiple case competitions, forging connections for our students with other high schools and beyond to post-secondary schools” says Melissa Keung, North Surrey Teacher and a Beedie alumna.

“The feedback from the students competing in these competitions has been universally positive – they have learned about teamwork, problem solving, and delivering under pressure,” says Sean McKenna, Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs at the Beedie School of Business. “Hosting the competitions has been a great experience for all those involved at Beedie, and we look forward to partnering with Surrey’s high schools to deliver more case competitions in future.”

The success of the Beedie School of Business in case competitions is largely due to a concentrated effort on the part of the School to improve student training. The approach ensures that as many students as possible receive the opportunity to compete at the highest level, and exposes them to customized training programs delivered by faculty, alumni, and industry professionals.

For more information about Case Competitions at the Beedie School of Business, visit

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