May 18, 2024

Corporate Nex Hub

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Niagara College business students shine at international competition

4 min read

Students make their mark with 3rd overall at Corvinus Undergraduate Business Experience (CUBE), an international business case competition in Hungary

NEWS RELEASE

NIAGARA COLLEGE

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Niagara College (NC) School of Business and Management students made their mark on the global stage, securing the third-place overall rank at the Corvinus Undergraduate Business Experience (CUBE), an international business case competition held in Budapest, Hungary. From April 4 to 12, a team of four students ventured from their NC roots to Corvinus University of Budapest, ready to showcase their analytical and problem-solving skills among esteemed schools from around the world.

Competing against sixteen schools, NC stood out as the only college in the competition. Despite never having competed in an international case competition, the student team rose to the challenge with passion and determination, supported by their faculty advisors and School of Business Management professors, Terri Champion, and Stefan Johnson, who provided invaluable guidance in the weeks leading up to the competition.

The sixteen competing schools included Case Key Academy, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Copenhagen Business School, HEC Montreal, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Iowa State, Niagara College, Norwegian Business School, Ohio State University, Rotterdam School of Management, University of Calgary, University of Melbourne, University of Minnesota, University of St. Gallen, University of Sydney, and University of Washington.

“In bringing together students from top schools from around the world, the competition provided students with an elevated global awareness, valuable exposure to diverse perspectives and the confidence that their NC business education can help them to compete with the best and brightest in the world,” said Champion. “We are extremely proud of our hard-working team who spent many long hours preparing for this competition, on top of their full-time course load and juggling various work commitments.”

“Given the diverse academic backgrounds and varying levels of expertise among our students, Terri and I witnessed remarkable growth and cross-disciplinary knowledge exchange that this type of competition requires,” said Johnson. “Thanks to the dedication and effort of our students, we have secured official invitations to two prestigious competitions in Sydney, Australia, and Budapest, Hungary, scheduled for the fall, along with one in the winter of 2025.”

CUBE is designed to provide a unique competition format that not only challenges teams, but also focuses on the professional development of competitors. The competition consisted of a pre-case, short seven-hour case and a 24-hour case and culminated in captivating presentations to a panel of professional judges who evaluated and recognized the most innovative and strategic solutions.

NC students distinguished themselves by excelling in both the seven-hour and 24-hour case challenges. Their notable achievements included a first-place finish in their division for the 24-hour case beating out Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Iowa State and Rotterdam Business School, and advancing to the finals to earn third place overall against University of Minnesota, and University of Sydney. The student team also placed second in their division for the seven-hour case.

All awards, including the final standings of the top schools, were presented at a gala awards dinner to end the week-long competition. It was here that Niagara College was proudly announced as the third-place winner overall, a significant achievement among the sixteen competing schools.

Despite feeling initially nervous about competing against prestigious international schools, fourth-year International Commerce and Global Development student Nicholas Molnar was motivated to make a name for NC business students. Sharing his biggest takeaway from the competition Molnar emphasizes, “no matter your size, experience, or background, anything is possible.”

Reflecting on the immense preparation and dedication required for CUBE, second-year Business Administration Marketing student Dario Spiteri feels the team’s hard work paid off and the overall experience was well worth the reward.

“This competition was one of the best experiences I have had during my time at Niagara College,” said Spiteri. “Preparing before we left was intense, typically spending seven or so hours per week to practice solving and presenting cases. With all our preparation, we felt well-equipped to compete once we arrived in Budapest and it felt amazing to be able to represent NC in such a significant way at our first international case competition.”

Beyond the competition, CUBE offered enriching programs and workshops designed to broaden participants’ perspectives and enhance their analytical toolkit.

“Competing at CUBE significantly enhanced my educational experience at NC by providing real-world application of theoretical concepts learned in the classroom,” said Brooklyn Balanowski, second-year Business Administration Marketing student.

“It has improved my critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills through a hands-on experience in analyzing complex business scenarios and presenting viable solutions under pressure. This international experience will forever stand out as a highlight in my academic journey.”

For international student Roberto Villao, who is in his third year of the International Commerce and Global Development program, CUBE presented a unique opportunity for personal and professional growth as he hopes to establish himself as a business leader in Canada.

“Being an NC student has contributed significantly to my career aspirations,” he said. “It has taken me out of my comfort zone, away from my homeland, family, and familiar surroundings, and immersed me in new challenges, like CUBE, that have fostered resilience and adaptability that are essential for navigating today’s globalized world.”

Benefiting from the rich extracurricular learning opportunities NC provides, Molnar encourages future students to fully embrace the unique experiences available beyond the traditional classroom setting.

“I hope future NC students take part in the many extracurricular, hands-on learning opportunities offered by the College,” said Molnar. “I know firsthand that participating in events like CUBE can be a transformative component to a student’s academic journey.”

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