CAPUMA set to compete in final round of AMA Collegiate Case Competition
Mark McDonald joined the Capilano University Marketing Association (CAPUMA) last year as a second-year business administration student to make new friends on campus and develop the skills that would make his resume stand out among others. A year and a half later, CAPUMA under his leadership as President has become one of the more active student associations on campus, intent on providing opportunities for students to develop their skills and gain new experiences outside of the classroom.
Consisting of business administration students, most of whom are pursuing a focus in marketing, CAPUMA recently ran a successful clothing drive in conjunction with the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) to raise funds for Wired 4 Success. They also attracted approximately 100 students to their fourth winter social, We Are North Vancouver, in November, which catered to first and second year students looking to make their first connections within and outside of the School of Business.
Throughout the year, networking events allow students to meet members of the business community and make those vital connections that will hopefully lead to job opportunities following graduation.
CAPUMA is one of two collegiate chapters of the American Marketing Association (AMA) in Canada, the other being the BCITMA. McDonald explained that all the executive members hold AMA membership and they submit a chapter plan each fall and an annual report in the spring, which allows them to access database information that normally wouldn’t be made available to the public. Their membership also affords them the opportunity to compete in any of 20 different case competitions, which consist of teams pitching business solutions in mock scenarios.
This year, CAPUMA is sending six of their members to New Orleans to compete in the AMA Collegiate Case Competition from Mar. 15 to 19. Fourth year business administration student, Pauntehah Poursaba, who won her spot in the competition through an in-class market research project, leads the team.
“Our main focus was to rebrand eBay and make them more relevant to the target market,” she said. The demographic she was targeting consisted of 18 to 25-year-olds. “We pushed the idea of community to make the brand more exciting.”
She submitted a report and then teamed up and pitched the case to a panel of judges consisting of School of Business instructors Robin Furby and Andrea Eby, and alumnus Ali Abassi. Seven CapU finalists were selected, and to their excitement they qualified to present their case in New Orleans on Mar. 16 as one of the top ten teams in the AMA.
This is the first time that the CAPUMA has qualified for the Case Competition in New Orleans, which follows the internal competitions at CapU.
“Well, you look at the calibre of schools that you’re going up against, so coming in as a team of people just put together is a little bit intimidating,” Poursaba admitted.
The team will receive their ranking the day following their presentation, and if they qualify for first place they will be invited to speak again on stage before everyone in attendance.
Next year, Poursaba will return to mentor CapU’s case competition team, although when she finishes her undergraduate degree she wishes to pursue law. “I would say that the case is the most I’ve learned in my entire education career,” she said. “It’s what I can imagine using in a hands-on marketing position.”
“The biggest benefit for me is just the opportunity to kind of get my foot in the door with the industry,” said McDonald, who isn’t attending the Case Competition finals but instead is preparing for the CAPUMA’s next social event. On March 9 at the Pinnacle Hotel and Pier the CAPUMA is hosting Creating Connections, a reception at which CapU’s senior level business students will have an opportunity to connect with the business community.
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