Top honours for COTR team
The COTR Business Management team won two out of three categories in the Western Canadian Business Competition, junior division
We again have proof that the two-year Business Management diploma program at College of the Rockies is highly successful. In March of this year, a four-man team from the program won the awards for Top Team and Top Individual—two of the three categories in the Western Canadian Business Competition (WCBC), junior division. The senior division is restricted to those who are in the bachelor's program.
Rezin (Butch) Butalid has been teaching the Business Management program at the Cranbrook campus of the college since 2008. We spoke to Butalid about the program and the value of this type of competition.
“They call this a capstone course,” Butalid said, “because it’s where the students apply the knowledge they’ve acquired in all their previous courses. Name it and it’s here: English, computers, math, accounting, finance, economics, marketing, operations—it all comes together here. We teach strategic management, and in class we do a simulation of a business—in this case an airline company.”
This program gives the students exposure to real-life business world situations, and the students appreciate the experiential learning that the course provides. Many have told Butalid that it’s the best course they’ve ever taken.
“This is where they realize how much they’ve learned, because here they apply their knowledge,” the instructor said. “This kind of learning is very abstract, but this course allows them to prove their learning through presentations and reports. It gives them confidence.”
In 2010, Butalid’s first year of coaching the competitive business management team for the WCBC, they won first place in the junior division. They won again in 2014.
Committing to the competition demands a lot of extra hours from the team and from the coach. Members of COTR’s winning team were Jordan Lydell, Yunguang (John) Li, Bradley Schmidt and Brandon Ouillette. Schmidt also won the Top Individual award.
“The Business Management program is an excellent opportunity for the students to apply all of the skills they’ve picked up in their scholastic education,” Schmidt said. “The business competition, and in general the business simulations, give us the ability to see how one department’s actions affect the other departments, how the whole picture comes together. It goes beyond the theory into the practice, even dealing with variations and fluctuations. In the real business world, the ability to adapt is crucial.”
“This was a very good team,” said Butalid. “They thrived on the challenge of the competition. I watched them doing their presentations and I was confident that they would win.”