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Business student participates in international competition

By Jennifer Kelly

If you are a business student who has ever questioned the value of a work term, keep reading. Megan Denty’s 2010 work term experience was the inspiration behind her applying for an international case study competition. The result? Ms. Denty was one of six finalists in the Baylor University Entrepreneurship Program and the USASBE student case writing competition held in Hilton Head, South Carolina, earlier this month.

The competition supports and encourages undergraduate and graduate students who wish to engage in case research and case writing. Submitted cases were suitable if they advance the field of entrepreneurship and contribute to an understanding of entrepreneurial phenomena.

Ms. Denty worked with Parks Canada for her winter work term and was also invited to attend the annual general meeting for The Road to the Beaches Tourism Association. The meeting addressed the lack of marketing and promotion for the association and discussed ways to address the problem. Ms. Denty was particularly interested in the association’s marketing issues.

“It got me thinking how a case study could benefit the association and help them clarify their marketing goals,” said Ms. Denty.

With this in mind, Ms. Denty approached Donna Stapleton, professor of marketing. The result was not what Ms. Denty expected. Instead of agreeing to prepare the case, Professor Stapleton suggested that Ms. Denty write the case study herself for submission to the Baylor-USASBE Student Case Research Competition.

With help and coaching from Professor Stapleton, Ms. Denty spent the spring and summer working on the case and eventually submitted a case titled The Road to the Beaches to the competition.

“We didn’t know what to expect, because it was the first time attending a student case writing competition for both Professor Stapleton and myself,” noted Ms. Denty. “However, we were pleasantly surprised by how smoothly it went and how much positive feedback we received.”

“There were three judges at the competition, including the president of the North American Case Research Association (NACRA) and the editor of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice Journal,” said Professor Stapleton. “These high-calibre judges were impressed with the quality of Megan's case and I was very proud of how well she represented the Faculty of Business Administration at the competition."

For Ms. Denty, the competition was more than just an exciting challenge.
“Before this, I had no idea of the amount of competitions out there for students,” said Ms. Denty. "It made me realize that I could apply for competitions tailored to my specific interests and for this, I am very grateful."

After returning from the Baylor competition, Ms. Denty and a fellow student applied for another competition, Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec, for a chance to win a scholarship.

“I hope this is the start of something very exciting and rewarding for me,” Ms. Denty said. “I am looking forward to participating in more business competitions. I hope to have the chance to further grow my skills and represent my university in the future."