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UTSC team wins national competition for business students

UTSC Management alumna Cybill Lui, a former investment banker turned Hollywood producer, was a guest speaker at the recent LIVE Competition. Organized by UTSC students, the two-day conference is one of the most challenging business case competitions in the country. (Photo by Ken Jones)

For the first time, a team of University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) students has won the UTSC-hosted LIVE Competition, one of the most challenging business case competitions in the country. Another UTSC team came third in the eight-year-old event.

“We are absolutely thrilled that our teams came in first and third place,” said David Zweig, Chair of the Department of Management. “It’s the first time UTSC has brought home the prize and we’re very, very proud of our terrific students.”

Some 150 undergraduate business students from 13 universities across Canada met in Toronto on Nov. 14 and 15 for LIVE Competition 2013 (standing for Leading Innovative Visions to Execution), which is organized each year by UTSC Management students.

Acting as the management of a fictional company in the film industry, each team of five had to solve a series of real-world business challenges.

The first-prize winners, known as Team Apollo, were UTSC Management students David Gao, Brian Hu, Cassandra Liu and Ricky Luo, all in fourth year, and Mikael Castaldo, in first year.

Coming in third was UTSC’s Team Magna, made up of Management students Farzad Farzanegan, Lylliana Liang, Daniel Raitsin and Sofia Zungia, all in fourth year, and Carol Tao, in second year.

Unlike many other case competitions, this one is multi-disciplinary, meaning the teams had to develop strategies for a demanding variety of business disciplines, such as finance or marketing. In all there were nine rounds of challenges.

“We really aimed to win this competition,” said Apollo’s Gao. “We really worked hard, every one of us.” He said the team benefited from a wide range of expertise among members, including finance, public relations, law and marketing.

The first-prize winners shared an award of $1,500 and will also get one-on-one mentorships with top business executives.

The competition was assessed by a panel of expert judges, including UTSC Management faculty and leading business executives.  “It’s a great training ground,” said judge Shali Virdi, associate director, career information for Chartered Professional Accountants Ontario. “It’s an excellent opportunity for students to learn here as opposed to when they get out in the working world.”

In addition, the students heard keynote speeches from business leaders, including UTSC Management alumna Cybill Lui (BBA 2002), an investment banker turned Hollywood producer, and Loren Francis, VP, Private Client Group, at Barometer Capital Management in Toronto. There were also evening workshops and networking events conducted by partner companies.

The top five teams were:

1. UTSC, Team Apollo

2. Western University, Team Epsilon

3. UTSC, Team Magna

4. University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Team Ares

5. University of Waterloo, Team Helium




© University of Toronto Scarborough