How to Lose

Welcome back readers, this for me was a hard piece to write so please bear with me. As I'm sure you remember, we (as a class) competed in an internal case competition at the beginning of the semester. It was eye opening and a wonderful learning experience for all of us, and I know our entire class tried their best. My group (known as Oxford Comma Consulting) won the internal competition. It was an unexpected surprise, as we believed that we were the least experienced/qualified students to be handed a National Case Competition.

The ICBC case was completely different from the "Macphie" case. In the internal competition there was an obvious problem and the paper had unlimited length and a different format. However in the ICBC case it was the complete opposite and my group not only struggled to find a solution/opportunity to fix/take advantage of but also had an issue with the composition of the paper. The expectations were completely different and where previously we had written 28 pages explaining in great detail our proposition, we were allowed less than half of that for ICBC.

We worked so incredibly hard on this project putting in over 27 hours together, not including the work we researched and completed separately. Some days we would schedule meetings from right after we finished class until the library closed and would meet again the next day to do it all again. This was all in addition to our regular classes, homework, and extra-curriculars and I know for myself personally I let things slide, such as quizzes, assignments and readings for other classes and I know that my group members also struggled with balancing this case. To say that we did not give this case everything we had would be a complete and utter lie, and I justified the lack of time dedicated to other classes and loss of grades by telling myself that we had prepared a case good enough to take us to Queens.

However this is not a happy ending. We waited to hear back from ICBC and on November 18th a video was posted online announcing the finalists. The University of Lethbridge was not one of them. I was okay at first, but then the loss began to sink in. I cried, and I am not ashamed of it. I cried because I lost grades in other classes, because I was no longer going to get the opportunity of a lifetime to compete nationally, because I was underqualified and handed a case that I was ill-prepared for, and because I stressed and worried about something that eventually turned into an inconsequential blip that had consequences in other classes. 

Then I realized that this was the way that life is, that hard work is not always rewarded, time and effort do not always lead to the best proposal, and sacrifices in other areas of our lives do not always lead to a winning outcome. In our lives we will feel disappointment: that someone got the job over us, that a company didn't choose our proposal, or that the campaign we presented just wasn't up to snuff. This is the real world, this is the management world and this is something I am glad that IME has taught me. Yes it isn't an easy lesson, yes it isn't even a pleasant lesson, but it is a lesson that has to be learnt. 

Till next time, 

a slightly disorganized, very passionate marketing major