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National business conference organized by U of T Scarborough students

A unique business simulation and conference organized by management students at the University of Toronto Scarborough will be taking place in downtown Toronto on Nov. 9 and 10.

More than 150 undergraduate business students from across Canada will be in Toronto for the two-day event conceived by the Management and Economics Students Association (MESA) at the U of T Scarborough. It is the first such conference for undergraduate business students in Canada.

The event is called LIVE, and features a simulation competition, various business speakers, a networking event with corporate recruiters, and more. It has been designed to help business students to develop the tools they need to succeed as tomorrow’s corporate leaders.

The event has been organized by Kara Lilly and Deepthi Guttikonda, both fourth-year students in the co-op management program at U of T Scarborough, who are serving as co-chairs of the LIVE event.

“The most exciting part is that undergraduate business students rarely experience an event like this, although it is common in MBA programs,” said Lilly. “We organized this to enable our students to gain a more holistic and strategic understanding of all of the various aspects of business in a fully simulated marketplace – the event is based on teamwork and competition and tests a wide range of skills.”

LIVE stands for Leading Innovative Visions to Execution. “We push students to think big, and to realize big dreams, and this event will give all our delegates a high quality business experience,” said Guttikonda. “We are also aiming to put our campus and its program on the map, because we have some incredibly talented students and we want to shine the spotlight on the management program at U of T Scarborough.”

The student delegates will be grouped into business teams comprising a fictitious “company” in a global marketplace. The companies are given an intense simulation challenge that they must address in real-time. They will need different business skills and areas of knowledge in order to meet the challenge. The problems require the companies, operating in different industries in different regions of the world, to make strategic decisions in three rounds, and because all teams operate within one simulation, they compete against the other teams, and each company’s decisions change the marketplace, which in turn affects the success of the other teams. 

The conference has been organized in co-operation with the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Events take place partly at the Holiday Inn on King Street and partly at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management at 105 St. George Street. So far, delegates have registered from British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Ontario.

Following the simulation, the students will listen to various speakers and attend the conference’s keynote lecture at the Rotman School given by Phil Sorgen, President of Microsoft Canada Co., as part of the Rotman Corporate Citizenship Speaker Series. Following that, they will attend a Corporate Connections Evening at the Rotman School that enables the students to meet corporate recruiters.

“The tenacity of these students in designing the event, getting funding, and implementing this conference is unbelievable,” says Walid Hejazi, a management professor at Scarborough who is cross-appointed to Rotman. “It’s very rare to have an event of this caliber outside of an organized MBA program, but this event came out of our co-op management program at U of T Scarborough. The organizers of this event reflect the initiative, creativity and passion that we love to see in students, and it speaks highly of our program.”

For more details, visit www.live-conference.ca.

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 by Swetha Chirravur and Mary Ann Gratton




© University of Toronto Scarborough