DeGroote MBA students are Best in Class


[img_inline align=”right” src=”” caption=”The winning DeGroote team. From left to right, Peter Vaiciunas, Shivalika Handa, Paul Bates, Mohsen Dezyanian and Sherif Masood.”]Four DeGroote School of Business MBA students have shown that they have what it takes to deal with a crisis at one of the country's most recognizable companies.

Mohsen Dezyanian, Shivalika Handa, Sherif Masood and Peter Vaiciunas, along with their coach, Dean Paul Bates, claimed victory at the Best in Class Invitational Case Competition held last weekend in Toronto. The team successfully responded to a fictitious crisis at this year's case company, Tim Hortons.

“The competition was 36 hours of intense analysis, scrutiny, and teamwork,” said Vaiciunas. “Every skill we have picked up over the past two years of our MBA degrees was put to the test, and it was integral that we stretched all of our abilities to succeed against our very talented competition. I would rank this experience as one of the most eventful of my time at the DeGroote School of Business.”

Each year, ten top MBA schools across Canada are invited to participate in the competition, and this was the first year DeGroote was invited to compete in this elite group.

The Best in Class Case Competition is unique in that it is not based upon a written case study. Teams were given two hours to respond to the fictitious crisis, but prior to the competition, students knew only that they would be working with a TSX-listed company.

“We had the opportunity to learn about Tim Hortons through interaction with senior executives, work together as a team to come up with strategic recommendations and deliver our results,” explains Masood. “The insight gained and level of information provided from Tim Hortons senior executives through the management question and answer period helped us to succeed.”

As first place winners, the DeGroote team received a cash prize of $10,000 and has been invited to attend the FEI Canada National Conference to be held in Victoria from June 9 to 11, 2010.

“This case competition proved to be a test of endurance, teamwork and creative ability. Though challenging, the strength and cohesiveness of our team pulled us through to the top,” said Handa.

“Overall, the experience was highly rewarding,” said Dezyanian. “The weekend can be described as two days of very intense work followed by an emotional awards ceremony. Throughout it all Tim Hortons coffee kept us on our feet!”

The competition was presented by the Toronto Chapter of the Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada), the professional membership association for senior financial executives.