Feb. 6, 2023Print | PDF
The Laurier Case Team (LCT) represented the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics and Wilfrid Laurier University at JDC Central (JDCC) from Jan. 20-23, 2023. Hosted by the Canadian Association of Business Students (CABS), JDCC brings together more than 600 business students from universities in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes to compete in interdisciplinary fields, including academic cases for eight business disciplines, parliamentary style debates, sports tournaments, social competitions and charity contributions.
The Lazaridis School has continued to show excellence at JDCC over more than 10 years of participation in the competition. This year’s team was no exception, with a podium finish in seven of the eight academic tracks, the team won the Academic Cup for the sixth time in the 11 years it has been awarded.
The team came in second place for School of the Year, an award based on performance in sports, e-sports, debate competition, charity activities, a consulting project, social team competition and conference engagement. The Laurier Case Team placed first in debate, with team members Michael Ye and Emily Liu recognized as best speakers; first for charity dollars raised; first for participation – measured by conference engagement such as watching other presentations and connecting with sponsors; second in sports; and e-sports was unfortunately canceled due to technical difficulties.
Academic Cup – first place
School of the Year – second place
Digital Strategy – first place
Marketing – second place
International Business – second place
Finance – second place
Entrepreneurship – second place
Accounting – second place
Business Strategy – first place
Congratulations to all members of the Laurier JDCC Team on your many accomplishments at this year’s competition. Thank you to all the participating schools, and to CABS, for such a wonderful experience and lively competition. Congratulations and thank you as well to associate professor, Sofy Carayannopoulos for her dedication and support to the Laurier Case Team.
We connected with Laurier JDCC co-captains, Jared Roy (BBA ‘22) and Rachel Curwen (fourth-year BBA student), and team “godparent” Kyle Chang (fourth-year BBA and BMath Double Degree) to learn about their experience in the competition:
Sofy [Carayannopoulos] is the cornerstone of this program at Laurier. She provides leadership and stability year-over-year as the faculty advisor to the Laurier Case Team. Throughout the years, Sofy has created a training program that vigorously prepares LCT members to perform case analysis. This includes hosting seminars every Sunday throughout the Fall term. These seminars are led by Sofy and distinguished LCT alumni and aim to provide LCT members with expertise on storytelling, financial analysis, target marketing and more. These seminars are followed by case resolutions in the afternoon where feedback is provided by Sofy and the numerous alumni who continue to stay involved with the Lazaridis School community. Sofy has created an environment that allows countless students to learn and grow. These skills have proven to be indispensable to LCT members beyond their academic careers and has enabled many of them to secure prestigious positions post-graduation.
In addition to making our members competent business professionals, Sofy is considered the heart and soul of our team. Affectionately known as “Mama Sof”, she consistently contributes to making the club feel like a family. Sofy is well known for preparing breakfast sandwiches for members as early as 4 a.m. during competitions to ensure they are well nourished and energized to compete. Sofy also hosts LCT’s annual holiday party at her home and will never shy away from joining us for Karaoke. Without Sofy, LCT wouldn’t be where it is today.
In the JDCC competition, there are eight cases across different categories: business strategy, marketing, digital strategy, finance, human resources, finance, accounting, and international business. Each school has one team of three students competing in each category, which have different cases to solve.
The business strategy case, as an example, asked competitors to develop a thorough human resources hiring, development, and retention strategy for Deloitte employees. Our team, Allison Sutherland, Marco Commisso, Nadia Vorobieva, proposed the “3D solution” which analyzed existing gaps in the hiring process and identified specific strategies to encourage greater job satisfaction throughout a Deloitte employee’s career. The team recommended that Deloitte use Ten Thousand Coffees, a platform to seamlessly organize coffee chats, and BrightIdea, a popular software to encourage employee idea generation. This solution was presented to six existing Deloitte consultants who praised the team for having a “synergistic solution approach and polished presentation”. The business strategy team finished in first place!
The digital strategy team, Vivek Bhardwaj, Duncan Spizzirri, Wen Zhang, also placed first in their track after presenting an exciting marketing strategy involving Twitter Spaces for Edge Investments, an independent media platform providing the latest analysis on growth stocks, crypto and venture capital.
Moreover, the marketing, accounting, finance, and international business teams all finished in second place in their respective events!
Overall, the Lazaridis Team won the Academic Cup, which is awarded to the business school that performed the best across all eight categories of cases at JDCC. This is the sixth time Laurier has won the award since 2012!
The competition was held in Ottawa this year. Aside from Wilfrid Laurier University, there were 10 other competing schools from eastern Canada. They were: University of Guelph, University of Ottawa, Concordia University, McMaster University, Toronto Metropolitan University, Bishop’s University, Brock University, St. Francis Xavier University, York University, and University of Toronto.
The most common reason why people join LCT is because they recognize the value that it can provide to their professional development. In University, most things that we do in the classroom are highly theoretical, often assume perfect conditions and typically try to point you towards one “right” answer. When it comes to case analysis, a lot of these things are thrown out the window because cases attempt to simulate a real-world environment. Therefore, being a part of LCT gives you the opportunity to take the things you’ve learned and apply them to real business problems in real time.
When you solve a case, you may not have access to all the information that you require but you still have to attempt to solve the problem. This leads to many members interpreting cases differently and often coming up with different solutions that are equally viable. Not only does the experience allow you to learn things that you wouldn’t in a classroom, it also allows you to learn from others and create variety in the way that you think about problems.
Beyond professional development, being a part of LCT connects you to an amazing network of individuals. This includes distinguished alumni and some of the best and brightest individuals that are currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program at Laurier.
Furthermore, LCT possesses a unique culture that certainly feels like a family. Every member is always willing to lend a helping hand to and collectively, everyone contributes to overall growth and success of the team. Many of the members are like-minded individuals that have similar interests, drives and passions. Many of us are friends outside of LCT and have developed bonds that wouldn’t have been possible without the club.
Finally, many people join LCT because they recognize the value that it can contribute to the Laurier and BBA brand as a whole. LCT has taken home many trophies in the past decade not only at JDCC but at a global level as well. Many of us join the club not only to develop ourselves and to join an amazing culture, we also join because the success of LCT adds credibility and validity to the BBA program at Laurier. This benefits members of LCT but also the BBA community as a whole.
We train on a weekly basis. We’re very lucky to have many alumni, faculty, and case competition teammates to provide us feedback at the end of each practice. Every Sunday, delegates spend about two hours in a seminar learning a variety of different topics. The afternoon consists of solving a case within your track for three hours and delivering a 20-minute presentation with a five-minute Q&A. The rest of the day you provide feedback to other teams. Outside of Sundays, there is other preparation that consists of working on areas of improvement depending on need.
One of the best parts about the JDCC competition is that there are many other activities outside of the eight different case events. We have a social team that shows off the fun side of Lazaridis students, and it was a highlight to watch the team perform many skits over the weekend.
There is also a sports/e-sports team, and most notably, our indoor soccer team finished second out of all universities despite playing most of the tournament without any substitutions. The last event of the competition was the debate finals which was between Lazaridis and Lang at the University of Guelph. We had over 20 teammates support our Lazaridis team that was debating against the motion for allowing strikes for essential workers. It was great to see them win in the end! The endless support between Lazaridis teammates was certainly the highlight of the weekend.