BCIT High School Case Competition paves the path for an applied learning experience

Learning at BCIT is hands-on, team-based, and industry-focused to ensure students are job-ready when they enter the workforce. More than 60 high school students from across six Burnaby schools experienced this unique learning model at the recent BCIT School of Business + Media High School Case Competition, presented by Fairmont and Partners in Tourism.

Participating high school students learned business and marketing theories and then worked collaboratively with BCIT student mentors to develop a marketing recruitment strategy for Fairmont Vancouver Airport.

With the help of student club Enactus, 18 BCIT Business + Media students volunteered as mentors for the participating high school students. Erica Halvorsen, BCIT Marketing Management faculty, provided resources and training to ensure student mentors were well-equipped to support their mentees throughout the case competition.

Participating high school students from Alpha, Burnaby Central, Burnaby Mountain, Burnaby North, Burnaby South and Moscrop received three 2-hour mentorship sessions for three weeks before the case competition. During the first two sessions, students learned the essentials of marketing and business. In the last session, they met their BCIT mentors in-person and had the opportunity to practice on a case study presented by one of the sponsors, Kit and Ace. The practice case revolved around developing a business strategy to increase brand awareness for the apparel brand in the Greater Vancouver Area.

Are you a high school student interested in a business and media career? Visit BCIT Business + Media to learn more?

Applied learning: Working on real-world case challenges

The skills and knowledge gained during these mentorship sessions were then applied at the main competition sponsored by Fairmont and Partners in Tourism/TIP Society.

Adam Laker, General Manager at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, provided insights on the world of hospitality and the meaning of being a Heartist – heart meets artist – at Fairmont. All participants, both the high school mentees and BCIT mentors, received their final business case study for the Fairmont YVR Airport and developed a recruitment campaign to reach potential employees.

In the afternoon, high school students presented their recommendations to the distinguished panel of judges: Kenton Low, Dean, School of Business + Media; Morgan Westcott, Associate Dean, Marketing Management; George Tsogas, CEO and Owner of Kit and Ace, and BCIT alumnus; and Manny Judge, Director, Talent Acquisition, Fairmont.

“The BCIT High School Case Competition allows students to engage in relevant case studies, experience a local situation and apply their knowledge to solving a current problem.  This leads to the design-thinking process and really supports a number of skills in a real-life experience.  The BCIT Case Competition supports teamwork, student learning and provides a practical, hands-on experience for students. These opportunities are important and help build leadership skills.” – Burnaby Mountain Secondary School faculty, Joe Dardano

BCIT School of Business + Media is committed to enriching the lives of learners through applied business and media education. This competition provides an engaging opportunity for high school students to learn about business and develop their analytical skills to solve real-world problems. All participants demonstrated a combination of excellent presentation skills, strong analytic capabilities, and creativity while showcasing the application of business and marketing theories in real-world situations.

The event would not have been a success without the support of participating high school teachers and the Burnaby School District-SD41. In addition, the help and guidance provided by High School Partnership Manager, Carol Martina, and Program Head of Tourism Option, Marketing Management, David Tikkanen.

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