King and John Whelan prepare kits for the ninth annual
Network of International Business Schools (NIBS) case
competition to be held from Feb.22-27. Memorial's team
will host seven other business schools from around the
world as they compete for the NIBS championship.
By Aimee Sheppard
As a seasoned case team competitor, John Whelan has enough
stories about some of the nation’s top business students
to write a best-seller. He’s got tales of debauchery,
upsets, and heart-pounding competition and all this insight
will come in handy as Memorial gets set to host the ninth
annual Network of International Business Schools (NIBS)
From Feb. 22-27, eight teams from around the world, including
Memorial, will be here competing for the coveted NIBS championship.
Last year Memorial won the championship and the privilege
to host the competition. Although the commerce student won’t
be competing this year, Mr. Whalen’s experience at
other case competitions will help him in his role as student
“I gave up my mid-term break for this,” he said.
“But I love the competition. I am fanatically competitive
and our reputation is on the line. I want Memorial to host
a great tournament and we have more than 30 student volunteers
who feel the same.
“Competing at case competitions is incredible,”
he added. “You get to see the different perspectives
from other business schools and see how they approach these
competitions. At one of the competitions, there was a team
that had to be in bed at 10 p.m. and had to eat bananas
as part of their diet. Some teams have really strict regimens.”
During NIBS, competitions start at 9 a.m. Each team will
compete daily in the first three days. “When you’re
presenting a case, you’re applying what you learned
in a way that you normally wouldn’t be able to. A
co-op employer isn’t likely to ask you to prepare
a budget for a national corporation but in a case competition
there’s no telling what you might have to do.
“And when it’s over and you think you can relax,
a panel of three to five judges will grill you. It can be
very intimidating to know you’ve got some of the country’s
top businesspeople listening to your every word. At the
World University Debating Championship, I had a judge debate
me using all of the Socratic principles in his argument.
How often does that happen?”
But it’s not all work. Even though Memorial boasts
the best record among Canadian case team competitors, it
is also known as a school that can socialize. “One
of the most important things you learn at these competitions
is how to network. No one can really teach you how to work
a cocktail party or why drinking 17 pints is not appropriate.
The social aspect allows you to interact with other competitors,
faculty members and judges. At the closing dinner of one
competition, I had a drink with the Bank of Montreal’s
vice-president of real estate and we still chat today.”
The schedule includes a lot of time to socialize and this
year’s NIBS competitors will have a chance to experience
a hockey game, go curling, take in some local music and
more. “For the second year in a row, NIBS is in Canada.
Our goal is to offer the Canadian experience with a Newfoundland
twist, ” said Carol King, manager of academic programs
at the Faculty of Business Administration and this year’s
NIBS co-ordinator. “We have teams coming from as far
away as New Zealand, where it’s the height of summer.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing people dance
a jig and become honorary Newfoundlanders,” she said.
“It’s about the cultural experience as much
as it is the competition. We will be putting Memorial’s
best foot forward in both regards and John and the other
student volunteers will help us do that.”
For more information about the competition visit www.busi.mun.ca/nibs04.