Unexpected conclusion sends participants to cloud nine
As the rankings for each competition at Happening Marketing 2014 were announced, team John Molson heard their names, again and again, but each time shy of a podium finish. Judging from the way things stood at that moment, one might have been satisfied with a bronze finish, as in last year’s edition. Yet when the final call was made, John Molson found itself all the way at the top.
“There was just confusion all around,” said marketing student and competitor Miyoko Fulleringer about those initial seconds during which their win hadn’t quite registered yet.
“The organizing committee told us we came fourth in almost everything,” she said about the event, held this year at University of Laval in Quebec City.
Smaller in scope and size than competitions like the Jeux du Commerce, (which can have over a thousand students), the Happening Marketing case competition focuses on creating a more intimate, collegial atmosphere. This year, it hosted 10 universities.
Like all case competitions JMSB delegates participate in, the culmination was paved with many months of training whenever their schedules would allow. Coaches and students sacrificed many an hour in what constituted perpetual case competitions in miniature.
“There were a lot of late nights, weekends. We were here every night of spring break,” said Fulleringer, adding that Christmas vacation was no exception.
For Salar Molaei, a third-year accountancy student participating as part of the integrated marketing communications team, first place wasn’t everything.
“I believe that the competitions are much more than podiums and it is important to keep the big picture in mind. I know that JMSB did their best to support other schools and we went in with the mindset of having fun and getting to know people. Every school excelled and showed us that we would have to do much better to even have a chance to podium. I applaud everybody.”
And this, he says, made all that commitment worthwhile.
“The person I am today is not the same as I was when I first joined the delegation. In the past year, I have been under tremendous stress, I have learnt more than I have in my academic career, and I have met many students who have each shaped me to become a better version of myself. The experience that you gain as a competitor is something that I will take with me throughout my life and I would not change it for the world.”
So how did JMSB manage first?
“As much as we’re all there to compete academically, [the organizers] really try to encourage sportsmanship and everybody getting together,” said Fulleringer of the sport and social activities which sometimes weigh more than individual cases.
JMSB’s marks for sportsmanship aided them in gaining first place.
“Honestly, I can say it’s one of the best organized competitions I’ve been to and I’ve attended seven […] as a delegate, two as a volunteer, [and] one as an organizer,” she added, echoing the general consensus from other JMSB participants.
Molaei, himself leaving the case world with an upcoming graduation, had some last words for curious readers.
“Participate. Get involved. Stress yourself out and beat the lazy student out of you. The competitions will change you and make you dig deep to bring out the best in you.”