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Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business & Economics
July 2, 2015
 
 
Canadian Excellence

2014

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School of Business & Economics

BBA students deliver impressive solutions to Skyjack executives during ICE week

Jul 28/14

Team no. 28 won this term’s Integrated Case Exercise (ICE) week with their written report and presentation on Friday, July 25 to the president and vice-president of marketing at Skyjack. Team no. 28 included: Michelle Alexander, Michael Ryan Blair, Anna Buchner, Nick Lauer, Cameron McLelland and Adam Miller.

Skyjack, a Linamar Company, is known around the world for quality and reliability of its products, which include scissor lifts, booms and telehandlers. The third-year co-op cohort business students were asked to come up with a plan to grow the company beyond its existing $1-billion goal, beyond the next seven years.

Eighty teams comprised of 500 Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) students worked together during this 10-day exercise to develop a unique plan, with the ultimate goal of presenting to the Skyjack executives and winning the ICE week Spring 2014 title.

Each team was required to prepare a written report and summarize the report into a 15-minute presentation. Worth 10 per cent of the grade in each of their four courses in the second term of third year, students worked around the clock to put their best ideas forward, using knowledge learned in class.

On day seven, the seven-page reports (with a minimum of 10 references and maximum of seven pages of exhibits) were due. On day nine, each of the 80 teams presented to a three-member board consisting of alumni and faculty members, who determined the group grade.

On day 10, 28 teams were selected to move on to the semi-finals, at which time they were to deliver their presentation to yet another internal board of faculty and alumni. Within one hour after the semi-final presentations had wrapped up, four teams were notified that they had advanced to the finals. Within 20 minutes, the finalists presented to the executives of Skyjack for a chance to win ICE week.

ICE is perhaps the most challenging part of the BBA program but also the most fun the BBA students will have at university, says faculty member and Laurier MBA graduate, David Rose, who has helped to organize the ICE competition for many years at Laurier. “This competition really changes the students, on a very personal level. It’s a chance for them to become leaders, to contribute their very best to a team, and to see what it takes to be successful in business. They are never the same afterwards.

“And the company representatives we work with are always impressed with what the students deliver. They can’t believe this level of excellence is coming from third-year business students, especially considering the limited time they have to work on the assignment. It’s a huge confirmation of Laurier’s outstanding business program and our amazing students.”

Promising a return on investment of 41.52 per cent, the winning team –no. 28 suggested Skyjack acquire a *product that would help the company grow beyond its $1-billion target.

“We had four very good cases, with four very diverse suggestions,” said Skyjack President, Brad Boehler, before announcing the winning team. “The winning project was an adjacent product we felt complemented our existing product line-up an aligned with our “simply reliable” brand strength”.

Laurier’s BBA program introduced ICE week in 1978 and it has become a hallmark of the undergraduate program. Built directly into the curriculum, ICE week immerses students into real-world experiences, working to solve complex issues of a real company. Past ICE week companies have included Linamar, The Rogers Centre, Sandvine, The Stratford Festival, Research in Motion, IKEA, and numerous other companies.

*Note: for confidentiality, full details have not been disclosed in this article.

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