MBA student teams to compete in Montreal

by Lynn Moore

Last winter, when Bombardier Inc. was pondering whether or not it should build a family of larger aircraft, it took that corporate and strategic dilemma to a Montreal gathering of MBA students.

Part competition, part feeding frenzy for hungry minds, the John Molson MBA International Case Competition, again underway in Montreal, is said to be where the rubber meets the road for aspiring business leaders.

“Two years of MBA education, costs a lot of money and if s great but I believe the experience of going through this competition alone is worth more than two years of education,” said Shakeel Adam who was among the scores of MBA students who last year considered Bombardier’s problem.
The 24th annual competition hosted by Concordia University’s business school features 29 teams. For the first time, a team from China ‚Äî the University of Hong Kong ‚Äî is participating, joining students from Germany, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, the U.S. and 16 Canadian business schools.

The competition is set up in a round-robin format over four days. Teams of four students analyze unpublished business problems that were devised by academics during a related competition held last year, which paid between $4,000 and $300 for winning problems. The final challenge is a “live” case which ‚Äî as Bombardier’s did last year ‚Äî challenges students to consider an existing problem.

“We took a hard line,” said Mr. Adam who didn’t want to publicly disclose his team’s position but noted just months after the competition Bombardier said it was considering what it called a C-Series aircraft that would have seating for between 110 and 135 passengers.