Monday 2 January 2012

Midweek Update: at the MBA Case Competition

As planned, here is my mid-week update.  Articles Monday, miscellany on Thursday. And it's been a busy week!

I'm a lead volunteer at the John Molson School of Business MBA International Case Competition for the second year in a row, and have been kept pretty busy. This event is the oldest and most prestigious of the case competitions and it's quite a to-do.  36 schools from around the world have teams to represent them, and

This being my second time as a lead volunteer, it's old hat. It's interesting comparing the two different years of experience. Looking back, I really have to hand it to last year's organizers:  Genevieve, Abid and Natasha. They pulled off last years' event amazingly, but having 3 organizers meant that there was a lot of pressure. This year the competition boasts a full slate of 4 very skilled organizers instead of just 3, and it makes a big difference. There is still a lot to do but the atmosphere is much calmer. These guys have done a lot of work and have everything running smoothly and looking professional.  They've got a good vibe going here.

Santiago Molano, Tracy Toye, Rios-Karim Mercier and François Rheault
Calm. Cool. Collected. On the World Stage.


On my first say I was working at the registration desk.  The teams were beginning to arrive, and the volunteers trained.  I met a German team and impressed them with my ability to tell them that I don't speak their language in German. Smooth. Here's a picture of me looking sharp.

One of the many sponsors of this prestigious event is Touchtunes, and their chairman, Bill Meder is an advisor to the organizing team.  Monday evening I had Bill explain to me the inspiration for this beautiful machine that Touchtunes placed in the hospitality suite for the volunteers.  It is a combination jukebox and karaoke machine, and was designed by the same company that designed the iPhone.  Apparently it cost about $400 million to design this beast.  It has a very intuitive and fluid interface, and comes with both jukebox and karaoke modes.  It was fuuuuuun.

Yes I do look awesome in suspenders.


While the participants were running around on a scavenger hunt through the Underground City, I got to guard the fort for a few hours.  I was alone with the Touchtunes machine and got to practice my karaoke skills.  No one around = plausible deniability.

Then lunch came and the staff got sushi!  Soooooooo good.

Santiago and Nasar approve. 
Jason tried to get in the shot and all we got were his thumbs.

Pepperdine was the first school team back from part one of the City Chase.
I didn't stick around to see who won part two.


The first competition day.  Started the day as a bouncer, keeping the opening brunch safe from riffraff.

This is the snazzy Grand Salon brunch in full swing.

Afterwards was the first case.  I didn't get to read it because I was patrolling the hallways.  It went very smoothly, though.  Here's a picture of the team hosts getting ready to give the cases to the teams.
Everybody go in 5...4...3...

Our beloved JMSB team emerges from their presentation and I stop them for a photo op. 

I didn't get to see the scores before I left for the evening.  I hope they did well!

The most exciting thing was that I happened to be in the right place at the right time today.  There was an extra ticket to the Habs game floating around and it was offered to me.  I was really excited to go.  I thought I'd just be walking people to the Bell Center and leaving them there.  I was so pumped, in fact, that I let Tarek paint my face!
Like a boss

The Jets were crushed 7-3.  It was bedlam.  The crowd was wild.  I was sitting next to the New Zealand team, some of whom had never experienced anything like a hockey game before.  They were hoping a fight would break out.  Two did.  A good time was had by all. 
Sat in nosebleed section. Got a nosebleed. True story.

Today is Thursday and a big day for the participants with two cases to do.  I hope the competition continues to run as smoothly as it has so far.


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