Engineers and commerce students team up

Graphic by Jennifer Kwan
Graphic by Jennifer Kwan

Organized by Concordia students, the Engineering and Commerce Case Competition is the first of its kind in Canada. It is scheduled to take place at the university from March 12 to 16, 2014.

This global case competition combines the strengths of engineering and business students in simulating a real world product development scenario. Emphasis is placed on bridging the communication gap between the two disciplines.

“The aim of the competition is to break barriers in the industry from a communication perspective,” said ECCC president and engineering student Emran Ghasemi. “We’re enhancing the communication channel between the two faculties and making one thought process look at things from the other’s perspective.”

Ghasemi explained teaching communication skills, which students will need after graduating, is not part of the curriculum for Concordia’s engineering programs. The ECCC Organizing Committee believes this competition will help students develop the skills they’ll need in the industry.

“Most of the time, the problems in businesses is communication,” he explained.

A competing team from a given university will consist of two engineering students, two commerce students and a professor who will act as their coach.

The ECCC Committee will select 12 universities from those that apply by Oct. 31; Canadian universities that have already applied include McGill, Université Laval and the University of Waterloo.

Students participating will get the chance to work with corporations in a networking scenario and create connections. The ECCC is looking for corporate partners for the first year of the competition, which would help lead to career opportunities for students and recruitment possibilities for corporations.

While the Committee anticipates mostly Canadian universities at the first competition, they’re gaining international interest.

“Last week, we surprisingly had an email from a university in Prague that wanted to get involved,” said Ghasemi.

Ghasemi and his friend thought up the idea for the ECCC in the summer of 2012, wondering why these two disciplines haven’t collaborated before for a case competition.

“We thought about collaborating engineering and commerce together considering they’ll be working together when they graduate anyway,” he said.

The Committee is made up of engineering and business students, including industrial engineers, electrical engineers, marketing students, international business students and management students.

“The opportunity is there so we just want to capitalize on it,” said Ghasemi of the committee’s plans for the competition to take place annually.


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