Continuing a winning tradition

Posted on

Matthew Honeyman knows that the College of the Rockies’ Business program has a long history of victory at the Western Canada Business Competition (WCBC), so when he and his teammates headed to Douglas College in New Westminster for their chance to compete, he felt the pressure.

“I knew that this wouldn’t be easy, but I was seeking the opportunity to challenge myself and grow,” Matthew said. “I volunteered to join the team and found exactly what I was looking for.”

Teammate Jordon Sam took a little longer to convince but was happy when he finally did apply for the team.

“I first learned about the competition last year, but it wasn’t really until this past fall when our instructor, Butch, reminded me of it that I was interested,” Jordon said. “I felt it was a challenge related to the MGMT 411 course and it was a chance for a trip to Vancouver too. I applied and felt really good when I was chosen.”

The College team walked away from the competition with two medals: First place Team – Junior Division and 2nd place Strategic Plan – Junior Division.

MGMT 411 Business Management Review is the capstone course for all business diploma students. As part of the intensive capstone, students are expected to pull together all the subjects in the Business Administration diploma and use that knowledge to create a business plan as a team, present that plan to a board of directors, make operating, financial, marketing, and human resource decisions and prepare necessary business reports – all in a computerized business simulation. Students in this course are eligible to apply to be on the College’s WCBC competition team.

For the four team members, participating in the WCBC helped to really solidify their in-class learning.

“Real world applications are the best way to deliver nearly any lesson and the opportunity to face off against teams from Western Canada was a challenge that helped us to work toward a goal as a team and to overcome challenges,” said Matthew.

Instructor and team coach, Butch Butalid agrees, “Students can apply all the concepts they have learned in all their previous courses. It is no longer just theory, but they are applying their knowledge to ‘real life’ business situations. They also have the added benefit of being able to network with the successful businesspeople who are acting as judges.”

The team found the competition to be intense with late nights and early mornings spent preparing Jordon has no regrets.

“It was hard but worth it to see our work pay off in the end,” he said.

When reflecting on keeping the winning tradition alive for the College, both Matthew and Jordon are grateful to have had the experience.

Jordon feels very proud of the team he was a member of, especially as at one point they found themselves in last place.

Matthew echoes Jordon’s feeling of pride.

“It was a challenge at every turn. We were faced with decisions that could make or break our place in the competition. We stuck to our plan and really thought out every decision. My team was the most skilled and resilient group in attendance, and I can’t be prouder of the work we completed in such little time,” he said.

Jordon and Matthew each chose College of the Rockies primarily due to it being close to home but each have their own dream of where their education could lead them.

“I worked for my First Nation in the summers in a variety of departments and a couple of years ago I was placed in Finance,” he said. “I got a chance to see how finance worked in a not-for-profit organization and thought it was an interesting career I could pursue. With the College being so close to home, it’s a convenient way for me to have the chance to work on my business skills so I can eventually come back to my First Nation with knowledge and experience.”

Matthew hopes to use his knowledge to contribute to a better business environment.

“Over the long term I want to run my own business or work as an executive in a major corporation. I want to be anywhere I can maximize my impact and build a more inclusive, resilient, and profitable business.”

Though they have missed a few years along the way, some due to COVID, the College’s business teams have brought home medals at every competition they’ve taken part in since at least 2004.

Learn more about business programs at: cotr.ca/business