Durham College takes home silver at Ontario Colleges' Marketing Competition

Students’ ideas for leveraging local organic baby food brand stand out among competitors

November 30, 2007

OSHAWA, Ont. – Two Durham College students showed off their business savvy and scored a silver medal at the Ontario Colleges’ Marketing Competition (OCMC) hosted by Fanshawe College in London, Ontario.

After months of hard work and preparation, Jake Simmons and Ashley Richardson, third-year Business Administration – Marketing students, competed in the entrepreneurship category against 14 other college teams and were awarded high marks and a well-deserved second-place standing at the event held November 16.

“We are so proud of these students and this tremendous achievement,” said Judy Spring, dean of the Durham College School of Business. “What they have accomplished is a reflection of Durham College’s commitment to student success; it’s why our students consistently win competitions and accolades from their peers and industry leaders.”

Hosted by a different college each year, the OCMC draws hundreds of top marketing students from across the province and attracts blue chip corporate sponsors such as Yahoo! Canada, The Coca-Cola Company and 3M Canada.

“It’s such an honour to compete against so many talented marketing students and come up with an idea that wins,” said Richardson. “It’s a great feeling to know that all our hard work paid off.”

Competitors receive their case for the competition on event day so they have no time to conduct research beforehand, and have only 30 minutes to read the case and prepare their strategy. After delivering a 15-minute presentation to a panel of judges, students are marked on several criteria, including teamwork and strategic thinking.

One of the six people on the panel judging the Durham College pair’s presentation was the owner of Sweetpea Baby Food, a line of organic baby meals and the topic of the case study. Simmons and Richardson were asked to create ideas to improve brand recognition, product differentiation and increase sales in current retail locations to help the company compete with national brands.

“The judges really liked our recommendation and felt it was something they could actually implement,” said Simmons. “It felt like we were in a real boardroom presenting an idea and the client loved it.”

Durham College took nine students to the competition this year and entered teams in eight events, placing well in all. In addition to the silver medal win, two other teams secured spots in the top five, just points away from winning a medal of their own: Rachel Carlson and Alexandra Herman finished fourth and Jake Simmons and Stephanie Mackenzie were fifth in their respective categories.

Durham College students excel at the OCMC and other student competitions due in large part to the school’s high-quality programs that are shaped by market needs and delivered by exceptional teachers with real-world experience. This access to invaluable educational resources and the opportunity to obtain hands-on work placement experience is also why graduates are so successful in the job market, earning the praise of employers, peers and industry leaders.


About Durham College

Durham College is the premier college in Canada for career-focused students who will succeed in a challenging, supporting and inclusive learning environment. Offering approximately 80 full-time market-driven programs and hundreds of part-time and continuing education courses, the college has provided students with access to exceptional teachers with real-world experience for 40 years. With a graduate employment rate of over 90 per cent and employer satisfaction rate of close to 95 per cent, Durham College gives students everything they need to obtain great careers and make a difference in the world. The college has more than 6,100 full-time students, thousands of part-time students and almost 1,600 apprentices. For more information, visit www.durhamcollege.ca or call 905.721.2000.

Media contact:

Sarah Daniel
Communications and Marketing
905.721.2000 ext. 2513


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