CAPUMA case team looks to win in New Orleans

The school’s marketing association is returning the compete in the AMA’s case competition for the third straight year

Justin Scott // Managing Editor

For the third year in a row Capilano University’s Marketing Association (CAPUMA)’s case team has secured a spot in the finals of the American Marketing Association (AMA)’s Case Competition taking place at the AMA’s 40th annual International Collegiate Conference. This year’s conference will take place in New Orleans from Apr. 4 to 7, with the team making their final presentation on the 5.

This year’s team of Madison Heidema, Lexi Wuthrich, Rosemary Preckel and Team Lead Rochelle Leblanc have been working on the case since May of last year. “We worked really hard on this, so it’s really great to be acknowledged for that,” Leblanc said. Each year the AMA and a prominent corporation issue a task to all the AMA’s members, and participating teams are tasked with presenting their solution. This year’s corporation was Mary Kay cosmetics. The team was tasked with coming up with a plan for the company to appeal more to 18 to 24-year-old females.

Doing their research and prep from May deep into CapU’s first semester, the team estimates the invested around 40 hours a week into the case alone. They can still remember the constant 3 AM conversations that took place throughout the semester. “We had to do extensive research on the market, the consumers, the target market and understand what the problem was for the company and the create a plan that worked in line with that in order for them to meet their objectives,” Leblanc explained. The team surveyed CapU students as well as conducing focus groups and outside research.

After nearly seven months of hard work, the team submitted their proposal in December, then had nothing to do but wait to hear back. According to the team, CapU Business Instructor Andrea Eby, who helps the case teams each year, estimates that of the over 300 chapters of the AMA in North America, around 100 compete in the case competition each year.

So, when the team found out that their proposal was in the top 10 at the end of January, they were ecstatic. “It’s a really rewarding experience regardless of if we were to be chosen in the top 10 or not, but we were pretty confident that we would be because of how the team did last year,” Leblanc said. “We had a really good coach, we had really great resources in order to get there.” Since then, the team has focused on prepping for their presentation on Apr. 5.

No matter where they end up placing, this year’s team has already carried on the tradition started by those of the past. Additionally, they see the work they’ve done and continue to do as invaluable, and just as valuable if not more than most of their in-class experience. “It’s industry level work, so it’s really intense, but it’s really rewarding,” Leblanc explained.

Another plus for this year’s team, is that for the first time in the CAPUMA’s time participating in the AMA case competition, one of the team members will be returning to the school next year. While Leblanc and Heidma will be graduating at the end of this semester and Wuthrich has already graduated, Preckel will be returning to CapU next year. “I’m very excited to help mentor the team next year,” she said.

With the competition fast approaching, the team can’t wait to get to New Orleans and finish what they started nearly a year ago. “I think it’s pretty incredible because we’re a small school and we went the first year and got honorable mention, the second year we got second place, this year who knows what’s going to happen,” Preckel said.

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