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Two UBC Sauder students have won the Queen’s Marketing Association Conference (QMAC) Challenge, a prestigious national marketing competition, now in its 31st year, which was hosted at Queen’s University from January 7 to 10.

For the finals against the University of Toronto, third-year BCom students Trixie Hernandez and Kella Chan presented to 130 QMAC attendees, conference sponsor representatives, guests, and a panel of Nestlé executives. Their victory has landed them paid internships with Nestlé, starting this summer.

"This is the first time in QMAC Challenge history that UBC has ever won," said Hernandez. "When we were up on that stage, the stakes were much higher than just an internship, we were representing UBC Sauder and proving to these companies that our students, our programs, and our school are worth investing in."

The competition was five rounds. The first was an open submission, the next four were school-on-school. Each round involved a weekly challenge and competitors would submit their responses electronically. Hernandez and Chan estimated they spent 15 hours a week on each challenge in November and December. The final round was a live presentation and was part of the conference weekend.

The QMAC Challenge brings together leading figures from the marketing industry as speakers, the country’s top corporate partners and 130 university students from 20 universities.

Hernandez said the support and mentorship of UBC Sauder Marketing Instructor Tim Silk was invaluable as they competed.

“We took a lot of principles we learned in classes, especially brand management, and applied them,” said Hernandez. “Always thinking ‘data first’ – I think that’s a big part of the reason we were able to get so far. Every recommendation we made we backed up with data.”

Hernandez is now looking forward to the opportunity to grow as a marketer and strategist in her internship. She hopes the win may put UBC Sauder on the East Coast company's radar and pave the way for more internships.

And, one great perk to the win after balancing the stress of competition with her studies: "No more stress about job hunting."