The break between the Spring and Summer terms of our Full-Time MBA program turned out to be more exciting and challenging than we could have imagined. A pop-up case competition, sponsored by the Compensation Employees’ Credit Union (CECU), was launched for current SFU Beedie Masters students. We found this opportunity very appealing as it required coming up with feasible recommendations that could be effectively implemented to address a real business problem.
The Marketing Strategy Challenge
The challenge consisted of developing a marketing strategy that CECU could execute to increase awareness and interest in its financial products and services among WorkSafeBC staff. From the beginning, we knew that this would be a great learning experience and a unique chance to test and apply our business and personal skills. We came up with a team name that proudly represented our roots and respective origins (Peru, Colombia, and Mexico). PCM Consulting Group was born and our journey in this case competition began.
Identifying the Problem
The two weeks that we had to prepare and present our recommendations flew by, but the collaboration, trust, and commitment we had as a team helped us overcome moments of pressure and doubts. We agreed that an effective solution required a clear and deep understanding of CECU’s strengths and limitations. Thus, in the first week, we focused our energy on researching and understanding the region’s financial services landscape, CECU’s current processes, past initiatives, existing obstacles, opportunity areas, and especially the target audience that we wanted to address. This allowed us to identify the core issues we were facing and to start exploring creative and realistic recommendations. The second half of our journey focused more on the actual design and creation of the strategic plan and specific actions that we ultimately proposed to CECU.
Providing the Solution
After days of intense research and great discussions, we finally submitted our video and presentation right before the deadline. We were very happy when we were notified that our team was selected by the judges to advance to the final round where we presented live followed by a Q&A session. Our team was declared the case’s winner and on May 25th, we had the exciting opportunity to present our recommendations to CECU’s Board of Directors where we explained the rationales behind our proposed solutions and received great feedback. Our journey is not over yet as we agreed with CECU’s management team that we would keep discussing the possibilities of implementing our proposals. The case competition provided us great exposure and allowed us to make great connections along the way. Moreover, what we learnt working on this case will be significantly useful both for future cases and resolving real-life issues.
Becoming a Winning Team
Lastly, this experience allowed us to get closer as friends and proved that a true team effort, where egos are set aside, can create and deliver powerful results. We cannot wait for the next challenge!
About the Authors
Rodolfo is currently a full-time MBA candidate at the Beedie School of Business and a Student Ambassador. He has professional experience in the financial services and fitness & wellness industries and is a passionate learner that enjoys embarking on new challenges. In his downtime, you can find him playing soccer, cooking some ribs, or preparing ceviche.
Before obtaining his degree in Economics, Ruben worked in telecommunications and education for 6 years. After graduation, he worked for more than 5 years across the supply chain in international business. Now he’s a full-time MBA candidate at SFU’s Beedie School of Business and is looking forward to enhancing his experience with the newly acquired business knowledge.
Upon obtaining a degree in Industrial Engineering, Hans pursued a career in the steel industry, working for 9 years in an international company in the Commercial Division. Now he is a full-time MBA candidate at SFU’s Beedie School of Business.