Two teams of Sprott undergraduate business students recently travelled to Europe to compete against some of the world’s top business students representing universities from around the globe. The Sprott teams took the silver medal at the Universidad de Navarra International Case Competition (Pamplona, Spain) and bronze at the NIBS Worldwide Case Competition (Leuven, Belgium). Both competitions were weeklong events of intense competition.


Victoria Barrio, Chris Sauve, Steph Ade and Rhea Higginson hold their award for second place at the reception in Spain for UNICC 2013

Sprott’s UNICC team from left to right: Victoria Barrio, Chris Sauve, Stephanie Ade and Rhea Higginson.



Mimi Lam, the host from Leuven, Stephaine Lawrence, Kendra Thorogood and Ross Park all dressed in black and green in front of the Leuven University sign in Belgium

Sprott’s NIBS team from left to right: Mimi Lam, Leuven student host, Stephaine Lawrence, Kendra Thorogood, Ross Park.


“With a bronze in academics at JDCC, a first and a second at ICBC, a strong showing at JMUCC, a third at NIBS and now a second at Navarra, Sprott has earned a reputation as a force to be reckoned with on the case competition circuit,” says Rob Riordan, faculty advisor of Sprott’s case competition program.

“UNICC was an amazing, emotional experience,” says Chris Sauvé, member of Sprott’s Universidad de Navarra competition team. “Even setting aside the opportunity to experience the beautiful landscape and incredible hospitality of Spain, I am sure I will remember the week for years to come. Over the week we went through an incredible transformation from four smart, capable individuals to one amazing team, plus one kinda-great coach.”

The Sprott School was one of 12 teams invited to take part in the Universidad de Navarra International Case Competition (UNICC 13), which took place March 11 to 16 on Navarra’s campus in Pamplona. Coached by Professor Rob Riordan, the Sprott team of Stephanie Ade (fourth year Bachelor of Commerce), Victoria Barrio (third year Bachelor of Commerce), Rhea Higginson (fourth year Bachelor of Commerce) and Chris Sauvé (fourth year Bachelor of Commerce) proved to be fierce competitors among teams from Austria, Finland, Spain, United States and Canada, including Western University’s Ivey School of Business, the University of Alberta and Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business. The Sprott team topped their division following two, head-to-head, three-hour case resolutions and an intense 24-hour case. Their strong performance in the finals, against Aalto (Finland) and John Molson, was awarded the silver medal.

The championship round of the NIBS Worldwide Case Competition took place March 3 to 9 at the Leuven University College in Leuven, Belgium. Coached by Professor Robin Ritchie, the NIBS team of Mimi Lam (fourth year Bachelor of International Business), Stephaine Lawrence (fourth year Bachelor of International Business), Ross Park (fourth year Bachelor of Commerce) and Kendra Thorogood (fourth year Bachelor of International Business) were among the top 10 teams in the preliminary written case round advance to the championships in Belgium. In the championship, the team was pitted in head-to-head competition among teams from Belgium, Finland, Germany, Thailand, the U.S. and Canada. The Sprott team delivered an outstanding performance during the three-day round robin of four-hour case resolutions and semi-final round to take third place.

The case competition experience provides students with an incredible experiential learning opportunity, equipping them with skills highly valued by employers, such as problem solving, communication and teamwork.

“I learned how to be more than just an accounting student,” says Sauvé. “Even when I was doing accounting cases, you aren’t just solving accounting problems; you are solving business problems. It really builds your ability to think holistically, to understand these problems at a fundamental level. In the end, it gives me the ability to apply this to all of my courses and my work, which makes me a much more valuable person to have around.”

Both teams prepared for months in advance through Sprott Competes, Sprott’s case competition training program that is run by Professors Riordan and Ritchie. Members of Sprott competition teams are chosen through a rigorous selection process.

To read more about Sprott students at interuniversity case competitions, check out our competition news archive.

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