For the first time in school history, Durham College (DC) has brought home several awards from the Ontario Colleges’ Marketing Competition (OCMC).
The annual two-day event, hosted by Niagara College, took place Nov. 21-22.
Top marketing students from across Ontario took part in a variety of marketing cases such as communications, sales presentations, international marketing, direct marketing, entrepreneurship and market research.
Kaitlyn Brasier, a third-year Business Administration Marketing student, was granted the Lydiatt award, which is considered an all-around leadership honour.
She was chosen from 250 participants from colleges around the province. The DC student also placed third in the Job Interview contest.
“To be able to win once this year was cool, but to get two awards, that’s crazy,” Brasier said. “I really didn’t expect to come home with anything so I’m very excited to bring one of the trophies here for the first time.”
Brasier and her teammates competed in the OCMC last year as well but were unable to secure any wins. That did not stop her from applying a second time as she believes “the experience in itself is an award.”
According to Brasier, OCMC 2018 was challenging as it was the first time DC had taken part in the competition in a decade.
“None of us really knew what we were walking into,” she said. “Trying to convince myself to give it another shot was hard for me.”
Two other DC teams also received awards in the competition. Youssef Zaki and Brendan Scott placed third in Entrepreneurship while Nick Bowman and Chin-Ting Sherwin placed fifth in Direct Marketing.
Fifteen Durham students competed in the OCMC this year after practising for nearly two months.
“Preparing for it every week is like another class. It’s adding so much more to your workload,” said Brasier. “Trying to find time for it, prioritizing the competition, your classes, your work and social life…that’s definitely a challenging aspect.”
The team was coached by a number of faculty as well as volunteers, including Sheldon Koufman, a marketing professor at the school.
According to Koufman, the competition helped the students push their boundaries and gave them the opportunity to excel in high pressure situations.
“It was really amazing as a faculty member and as a coach to be able to see them go through the entire two-month process of being super dedicated to learning, pushing their limits and trying something new,” Koufman said.
“They were able to walk into these case rooms and not just compete, but excel with wonderful results.”
Brasier says she received a lot of support during her practices.
“In the marketing program, we’re super lucky to have incredible faculty,” she said. “They deliver their course content really well, but they also really care about you as people.”
“I knew that no matter what, I was the best that I could be walking in there and I had the support of the faculty who have also invested so much of their energy into me.”
The confidence and reassurance made it “so much easier”, walking into the competition, she said.
For Koufman, the whole idea of the competition is to see students experience learning and growth.
“I was beaming, I was so proud and excited to have just been one small piece of their journey because these are really super bright students,” he added.