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UBC MBA students win international case competition

Group of people at the License-to-dig Competition
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MBA students from Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate Schoolhave won the 2012 Schulich School of Business’ International Case Competition, focused on community engagement in the mining industry.


Preceding the two-day competition in Toronto, the UBC MBA team, of Kalpana Bisht, Lucie Cornish, Kurt McFee and Phil Wallace were assigned their case and tasked with building communication channels and generating support from local communities for new mining projects.

Each competition round required teams to hold a 15-minute presentation followed by questions from the judges, many of whom were representatives from the mining industry.

“What we delivered was essentially a community engagement plan,” says McFee. “Then we had to come up with a strategy to implement it which included metrics for monitoring performance and determining the level of community consent for any given project.”

“It was important to have a global approach to the solutions we provided,” says Cornish. “They wanted something that could be applied in many different areas of the world.”

In preparation for the competition which was held in early December, the team conducted extensive research into the mining industry and sought the advice of a corporate social responsibility specialist from a local mining company. They also worked to hone their presentations in front of Blake Hanna, a Sauder professor and former partner at Accenture, and Mark McCoy, who leads case competition workshops for a not-for-profit group called Vancouver Acumen.

“The most important thing about giving effective presentations is that you need to tell well-constructed story,” says Bisht. “The theme we created for our presentation was called bridging the gap and we used graphics and a powerful story ark to illustrate that.”

The team intend to split the $9,000 prize between them and use the money to cover their flights to Bangalore, Copenhagen and Singapore for the Global Immersion period of their UBC MBA program.