A twist on the traditional

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IMIC Experiential Information Session 2019 (Innovation Complex, UTM)

If there’s one thing I appreciate, it is the opportunity to try on something before I am required to commit to it. It might just be me, but having the ability to try on clothes before buying them, or spending a few weeks in a course before deciding if it’s really for me gives me the comfort of knowing that I am making the right decision for a particular goal I want to achieve (i.e., refreshing my wardrobe, or boosting my GPA).

There are many valuable opportunities you could be involved with on campus, and your time is limited. You want to know, with as much certainty as possible, that a role you commit yourself to will be mutually beneficial.

But before you commit to a school year of training and preparing to analyze and present cases, wouldn’t it be ideal to test drive that experience to see if it’s for you?

I think that is what Hibah Hashmi, director of IMI’s Case Competition Team (IMIC), had in mind when she came up with reinventing the group’s method of hiring in order to recruit next year’s team.

IMI’s case competition team reinvents their hiring experience

Last month, second- and third-year students interested in becoming competitors with IMI’s powerhouse case competition team were invited to its first Experiential Information Session held by the group.

An attendee was randomly grouped with three other students and one current IMIC member. All groups were given a case having to do with solving Toronto’s traffic congestion problem with a technological solution. After analyzing, planning and creating the presentation, the finished products were shown to a panel of judges consisting of IMIC alumnus, professors, and industry representatives.

The idea was to mimic an actual case competition experience, and it included prizes such as a guaranteed interview with the group and a stipend for the upcoming Show Me the Green (SMG) case competition.

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Later in the evening, the current IMIC team gave a short presentation with regards to what they took away from the experience this year, and outlined the many IMIC successes that have taken place during previous competitions.

One common theme that was echoed by members of the current team was their ability to overcome challenges and develop personally and professionally through the IMIC experience. They mentioned that success doesn’t necessarily mean coming back to campus with a win (and some prize money). Although placing may feel great, the challenge and accomplishment is coming together as a team to solve a problem they probably have never encountered before and in a field they may not have any experience in.

One thing seemed clear from the group — the experience of being on IMIC had brought them closer together and that each person had achieved a certain level of personal and professional growth which sounds like the less obvious, but greater win.

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I think it takes courage and passion to do case competitions. They are usually some of the most challenging projects *willingly* undertaken to further your own development. Weekends, late nights and early mornings are compromised in order to present a deliverable as an extra-curricular experience.

But I speak from personal experience when I say the rush you get from presenting something you worked so hard on is exhilarating. Your takeaways include:

  • a guaranteed confidence boost,
  • a wider network given all the students you meet competing alongside you,
  • and the judges you connect with.

As well, the ability to compete in these competitions as an IMIC member is fully covered by the Department! Find out more about how you can get competition and conference support here.

Sarah Girgis,
University of Toronto Mississauga, Class of 2019
B.Comm. Accounting Specialist, Economics Major

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