Winnipeg, MB – For the second year in a row, Red River College (RRC) students in the Financial Services Specialization course have banked a first place victory at the 2019 Western Canadian Institute of Financial Planners (CIFP) Case Challenge Competition, and will now square off against the best in the East next week in Vancouver.
The Business Administration students: Scott Lobban, Suzie Nguyen, Desiree Huang and Ron Eric Venezuela, led by their instructor Maria Vincenten, have invested countless hours practicing and preparing in the hopes that this year they will come home the national champions – leaving a statement in more ways than one.
“Students come to Red River College to gain the skills and knowledge that will make them employable. Competitions like the CIFP Case Challenge, provides our students with opportunities to practice problem solving, hone their innovation skills, strengthen their ability to communicate and work within teams, and acquire real-life experience that will ultimately lead them to a successful career,” said Paul Vogt, President and CEO.
“We are so proud of these students and their instructor, who are representing Red River College on the national stage and are truly demonstrating the value of hands-on, applicable learning.”
The CIFP Case Challenge provides students with an opportunity to take what they have learned in their financial services programs and demonstrate their financial planning skills.
In the challenge, teams of three are sequestered in a room and receive a copy of a multi-page financial case study. Teams then have just two hours to develop a case analysis, recommendations, and an implementation plan.
Once completed, students then have up to twenty minutes to present their findings to a panel of judges (financial services professionals). During this time students must convince the judges that their solutions are viable and are the best solutions for the case. The team that makes the best and most persuasive case presentation wins.
“What’s really amazing about winning the western challenge and making it to nationals is that RRC’s Business Administration program is only two years, so our students only take the financial services courses over one semester in their final year. We are going up against students in four-year programs who have been learning this material for two plus years, and in some cases, post-graduate students,” said RRC Instructor, Maria Vincenten.
“There was some material in the case that we hadn’t even covered yet in class, so this is a really big deal for our students, the program and for the College.”
Vincenten said that this year, three of the students on the team are international students from the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, so they came into the program with a blank slate and had to learn the Canadian business and financial system from scratch.
“Whether we win or lose at nationals next week, in our minds we’re already winners,” said the students. “Red River has given us a very meaningful college experience – this program and the competition have already opened so many doors for each of us, and instead of us applying for jobs, we now have the big financial services players pursuing us. It’s a great feeling to graduate from this program with a career that we are excited and passionate about.”
The team will head to Vancouver June 2-5 for the 2019 Canadian Institute of Financial Planners (CIFP) Case Challenge Competition.