Frequently asked questions

Illuminate's Initiatives and Policies

What is our inclusion policy and commitment to diversity?

At Illuminate Universe, we acknowledge that the best leaders are the ones who can work with individuals of diverse backgrounds and identities. Therefore, we are consistently working to foster an international community of driven, passionate youth who will be the future of tomorrow’s workforce. Through our commitment to diversity, we ensure to involve and welcome students and aspiring professionals of all ethnicities, religions, educations, and economic statuses. We acknowledge that all students come from different backgrounds and situations, thus we offer scholarships to competitors who demonstrate financial need. Our reward money goes directly towards supporting entrepreneurial ideas and educations of competition winners. With an emphasis on student experience, llluminate Universe strives to provide an inclusive, equitable platform for learners. From Vancouver to Shanghai, individuals from diverse backgrounds are able to collaborate on a global level, developing their own skills while expanding their networks. Illuminate Universe has a commitment to providing a platform for youth empowerment. We are proud to say that we create a bias-free environment at our competitions. One of our goals at these competitions is to ensure that all participants feel as though they belong. We strive to accommodate a variety of needs including things such as accessibility requirements, and providing different resources and tools to successfully complete the competitions.

What is our Response to Covid-19?

Amidst these unprecedented times, Illuminate Universe has realized the true extent to which COVID-19 has impacted our communities. Believe us when we say that we are right there with you. In a time like no other, we have decided to further focus on what we can do for our community. Illuminate Universe understands that in today's world and under current circumstances, mental health has become a key issue. Because of this, we want to engage youth and provide them the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers with similar interests, who understand and face common challenges. We truly believe that the best leaders are those who understand current issues, and consequently, can identify key challenges and create innovative solutions that will benefit multiple stakeholders at once. We understand how difficult online school can be, and how the level of education has fallen significantly in these unprecedented times. Taking students outside of the classroom helps give them the chance to learn through application. These competitions help students learn more than they would in class. Why? At our competitions, students enhance their problem solving capabilities, critical thinking and analysis skills that will be necessary in today’s technology-dominated age. We believe that enabling students to develop these skills will teach them the ways in which they can be directly applied within the workforce. We acknowledge that student activity these days is virtually non-existent. As a result of this, we are providing students with the opportunity to take on leadership roles within Illuminate Universe. This keeps their minds sharp and active, while aiding with the prevention of burnout from COVID fatigue. Not only does this help them gain work experience, but students will also learn transferable skills that will make them desirable competitors in their future workplaces. As we mentor students, they grow and develop their own skills, which can be transferred down as they teach new recruits later down the line. These new recruits can then become mentors themselves. By offering these leadership opportunities to strong candidates, we create a positive feedback loop of mentorship and trust within our community. Our talent management program encourages candidates to step out of their comfort zones, pushing the students of today to become the leaders of tomorrow.

What are the Student Benefits?

Tackling business with our three pillar approach of technology, consulting and finance, Illuminate Universe opportunities cater to both students with a focus on their passion for business, and those who are testing the water. Additionally, with the pandemic playing such an influential role in our lives today, we have added a new pillar, geared towards proactive healthcare. Our upcoming event, the National Collegiate Business Conference (NCBC), is our national flagship event open to all university students in Canada. Expect the Illuminate that you’ve come to know at NCBC this May, but bigger and better than ever before. Illuminate Universe fosters student professionals by allowing them to grow their LinkedIn platforms while expanding their knowledge in finance, technology, entrepreneurship, marketing and healthcare. At Illuminate Universe, we understand and empathize with students amidst the pandemic. Our events such as the National Collegiate Business Competition (NCBC), Global High School Leadership Conference (GHLC), and the National High School Business Competition (NHBC), will act as a launching pad for multiple career opportunities for young business-oriented students. Our case competitions bring awareness to prevalent issues within today’s corporate world, including privacy and security, information systems, and sustainability. Through events such as the Global High School Leadership Conference, we connect not only Canada’s top talent with the best companies, but also that within theU.S. and China as well. This aids in streamlining the recruitment process amongst big league companies and provides companies with the opportunity to teach and engage the next generation of business leaders.

How Does Illuminate Work?

Who runs Illuminate? Illuminate Universe’s conferences, academy, and events are run by a strong team of National Leads. Each lead has a variety of responsibilities suited to their passion in business. Our team promotes what Illuminate stands for, engagement, teamwork, and empowerment of the next generation of business leaders. This incredibly talented team of National Leads is led by founder of Illuminate Universe herself, Alina Huang. How do we get Partners? Our partners are recruited by our team through an exclusive outreach approach. At Illuminate Universe, we strive at developing meaningful and professional relationships with each of our partners, as we acknowledge its importance. We ensure that we meet the expectations of our partners and work alongside them to execute a successful event. Where do we get our money from? Illuminate Universe is funded through sources such as ticket sales, partner contributions, and other revenue streams of the business. This money is used as scholarship funds for the winners of the conference, logistics of running our conference, and to help fund future conferences.

Our Policies and Terms

Illuminate Universe is an organization that dedicates itself to guiding youth through the path of business. Our policies and terms entail providing a safe and welcoming experience for everyone, and providing all students equal opportunities and access to conference resources. Attending our conferences means that you will be in, and add to, a safe space meant for collaborative engagement, and networking amongst peers and professionals. Our team at Illuminate believes that transparency is the best policy, which is why we strive to execute clear and precise communication with our community and our partners. We ensure that anyone involved with the Illuminate Universe organization is informed on all details, from conference itinerary to finances.

Debunking Illuminate Myths

What is a Pyramid Scheme?

A pyramid scheme is classified as “an unsustainable business model, where a few top-level members recruit new members, who pay upfront costs up the chain, to those who enrolled them. As newer members in turn recruit underlings of their own, a portion of the subsequent fees they receive is also kicked up the chain.” (Bloomenthal, 2021) The people who are recruited to be a part of these schemes can be anyone, no licenses required, which in turn creates a saturated market.

How is Illuminate NOT a Pyramid Scheme?

Illuminate Universe recruits their team members through internal processes and by reference. Our conferences have a license based on regions, meaning, we ensure that our events and initiatives are spread out, rather than oversaturating one specific location. Since Illuminate Universe does not receive its funds from team members, we receive it from partner contributions, ticket sales from conferences and events, and other streams of the business (you can read more about our finances under “how does Illuminate work?”) Although registrants pay to participate in conferences, they are receiving many great benefits as an outcome. Such benefits include, but are not limited to, summer internships, networking opportunities, attending workshops, and getting to listen to keynote speakers from big companies such as Deloitte. Additionally, the winning teams at our conferences receive a cash prize.

Are our Competitions Rigged?

No, our competitions are not rigged. Our recruitment process for competitions is 100% inclusive, which means that we welcome anyone who wishes to attend. The judges who attend, watch, and decide on top performers for the competition consist of members of partner companies who use a standardized rubric. Illuminate has no hand in selecting the winners of the conferences, rather, our role is solely to coordinate the logistics of the judging.

Are our Competitions Elitist?

Since we welcome everyone at our competitions, we acknowledge that there may be attendees who have more experience in case competitions. Many competitors that attend come from private school education or enriched learning programs such as the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, or Advanced Placement. However, we trust that all participants are able to recognize the benefits of competing against and learning from more experienced peers. We also remind students who are interested in our conferences that you do not need to be enrolled in any of these forms of education in order to attend and compete. Like our judgement process, Illuminate Universe does not have any involvement with hand-picking students, we solely organize the logistics (i.e. announcing the winners, show judges to their randomly assigned rooms). We strongly believe that if you are good at business, then you are good at business, no questions asked.

Our Mission

We engage and empower the next generation of business leaders through experiential learning,

co-created with our premier business partners. 

Empower, Engage, Experience

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