The duo from Okanagan College (OC), coached by Dr. Robert Groves and Roger Wheeler of the OC School of Business, took first place in the Human Resources category of the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition at Queen’s University, besting finalists Simon Fraser University as well as Concordia University, McGill University, Saint Mary’s University and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
For Blancher, fourth-year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) student, the path to competing at the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition became clear when she and her teammate Knuth advanced through a challenging preliminary round in November. The pair didn’t rest on their laurels after becoming finalists, however, and in the weeks that followed they spent countless hours preparing for the competition, with one goal in mind: winning. Their preparation paid off.
“We were definitely nervous going up against the best business students in the country and internationally,” says Blancher. “But the level of support we received from our coaches was incredible. We couldn’t have done it without their knowledge and expertise.”
“We were ecstatic when the results came in,” adds Knuth.
The Inter-Collegiate Business Competition is Canada’s oldest and longest-running undergraduate business case competition, featuring eight different categories in which students can compete, including Accounting, Business Policy, Ethics, Debating, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, and Management of Information Systems. Held annually in Kingston, the event hosts more than 100 competitors from leading business schools across Canada and around the world.
“I came away from the competition with so much more confidence in myself and my abilities,” says Blancher. “I know that will carry forward into future competitions and my career.”
Blancher and Knuth are back in class, but both are already focused on their next challenges.
Both students will graduate this year, Blancher with a BBA with a specialty in Human Resources and Knuth with a BBA Honours degree, specializing in Human Resources (which she is on track to complete in just three years), along with a BA diploma specializing in management.
Even before graduation, Blancher’s career in HR has already taken off. She currently works full-time as a Junior Human Resources Advisor at KF Aerospace, while finishing her last four classes this semester at Okanagan College.
More information about the competition is available at icbcqueens.com.