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Business students land GM internships at national competition

By Susan White-MacPherson | April 1, 2013

Two bachelor of commerce (co-op) students landed four-month internships with General Motors at a national competition recently.

Laura Francis and Krystal Hobbs won two of the coveted internships during Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec, a national business case-study competition for university students that’s run by McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business. Ms. Francis and Ms. Hobbs were top 10 finalists in the competition, held March 26 in Toronto, Ont.

“To me, this is really the best prize I could have won,” said Ms. Francis. “There was a lot of fantastic talent at the competition and to be chosen for an internship is simply incredible. I am ecstatic about this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.”

The internships are for four months and will take place this spring with the vehicle manufacturer’s marketing department in Oshawa, Ont.

“I’m looking forward to this exciting opportunity,” added Ms. Hobbs. “I can't wait to apply my skills that I’ve developed through the co-op program, and I look forward to the challenges and learning opportunities that working for GM will provide.”

The duo is the first team from Memorial to make it to the final round of Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec, now in its seventh year. The competition challenges post-secondary students from across Canada to develop integrated marketing campaigns for a major sponsor, which this year focused on the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox. All of the submitted proposals are covered by a non-disclosure agreement that prevents contestants from discussing the details of their ideas, but Ms. Francis and Ms. Hobbs were pleased with their presentation.

“We gave it our best and we were proud of the work that we presented to the judging panel,” Ms. Francis said. “The business program at Memorial really grooms the presentation skills of students and I feel that this has been really beneficial to us with regards to this competition.”

This year, 141 submissions from 30 schools were received from students vying to be Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec. Competitors submitted an elevator pitch plus a comprehensive report outlining the key elements of their marketing strategies to make it to the final round. The top 10 finalists delivered 30-minute presentations before a panel of judges.

All finalists were provided with networking opportunities with top industry executives and about $30,000 in prizes and scholarships were up for grabs.

Teams from the University of Guelph, Queen’s University and York University placed first, second and third, respectively.

“This was a truly fantastic networking experience,” said Ms. Hobbs. “We got to meet so many people in the industry and in marketing that were genuinely interested in learning more about us. I believe that there will be ample opportunities for everyone in the top 10, even if there wasn’t a win directly from the competition.”


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