Sprott student Yuliya Riabko wins the National Capital Leadership Challenge

Posted on February 13, 2012 in Competitions, News, Students

Bachelor of Commerce student Yuliya Riabko is the winner of the 2012 National Capital Leadership Challenge (NCLC), a student competition created to develop the next generation of leaders for the Ottawa region’s emerging technology sector. As the Challenge winner, Riabko was awarded $5,000 cash and a paid summer internship with CAE Professional Services.

Yuliya Riabko at the NCLCClick here to view more photos 

Open to students from Carleton University, University of Ottawa and Algonquin College, this year’s Challenge was to provide a solution to a real scenario facing business leaders in the National Capital Region – how to develop, attract and retain the leaders of tomorrow.

Riabko winning proposal focused on creating partnerships between post-secondary institutions and the private sector to draw and retain talent in the region.

“We should better advertise private industry when positioning a business degree in Ottawa,” says Riabko. “We should also use case studies of local businesses and encourage students to do research and work with local businesses on final projects.”

She also suggests that by visiting local companies, students would gain exposure to potential jobs and career paths they may not have thought of otherwise. She found that many fellow business students were looking for jobs outside of Ottawa post graduation. She was surprised to learn that they viewed Ottawa as a government town and lacking a strong private sector.

Her research shows the contrary: 60 per cent of Ottawa’s business industry is in the private sector. Her goal was to prove that there are great private sector jobs in Ottawa. Riabko knows from personal experience. Her family has owned and run their business for years.

Each institution held an internal competition and the top three students from each school advanced to the final round, which took place on February 3, 2012. Riabko, along with Bachelor of Commerce student Henry Wu and Bachelor of International Business student Matt Corluka, represented Carleton in the finals.

In addition to the overall winner, awards were given to the top student from each institution. Wu won the Carleton prize and received $3,000 cash plus a paid summer internship with Pleora Technologies Inc.

Wu focused his solution on cooperation and collaboration among private industry and the public sector to attract young business leaders to Ottawa. He suggested a recruitment process to target individuals and also touched on language ambiguity in Ottawa.

Wu entered the Challenge because he saw it as a great opportunity to gain experience presenting to industry professionals, particularly those in Ottawa’s technology sector.

“Having that experience and getting feedback was invaluable,” he said.

Riabko and Wu both give credit to the support they received from the school in preparing their presentations, in particular from Dotti MacNeil in the Sprott Business Career Management Centre and Julie Caldwell, Sprott’s Student Success Officer.

“I don’t think I would have been able to win the competition without Sprott,” says Riabko. “Matt and I were talking about past winners while waiting for another presentation to finish during the competition. We knew each of their names because we are all a big family here at Sprott.”

Riabko believes that Sprott’s supportive community makes a difference and wants other students to get involved outside the classroom.

“I learned a lot of other skills by being involved in school activities and they helped develop my presentation skills,” says Riabko who coordinates the Sprott Ambassador Program and Sprott Junior Achievement Program. “You never know when and how it will help you in the future!”