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Business Case Studies. James Quinlan's Lecture!

Updated: Jul 30, 2021

Hi everyone! My name is Thamira Seralathan and I’m going into grade 11 at Lester B. Pearson CI. Last Thursday, the students at the Illuminate Leadership Academy had the pleasure of meeting James Quinlan for our weekly lectures series. His presentation was about “What are business case studies” and “how do we tackle them”. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned.

“What are business case studies", before I had attended this lecture with James the only encounters I had with having to complete a case study was when I was participating in the Illuminate x Durham Conference and NHBC. However, even then, I didn’t exactly know what they were or what they stood for, I kind of just thought of it as a fun assignment.


James helped me realize that a business case study is a “real world, ambiguous situation based on real-life business problems” and there are certain ways we can tackle these case studies for the best results.


Case studies are ways to learn through application-based learning, implication-focused, and it's fun and challenging. Here are the steps that James told us to solve a case study.


Presentation Structure:


Executive Summary: This is where you read through the case thoroughly and gain a deep understanding of the situation.


Key Analysis and Decision Making Process: This step is where you identify the key issues that need to be addressed and consider what possible solutions can be taken into account to solve the problem at hand.


Recommended Details: There will be possible solutions within the case they may want you to consider, however, you must keep in mind what the company's goals are and think of a solution that will be realistic yet feasible.


Implementation Plans: This is the step where you carry out your solution and you must think of the main three components: the timeline, financials, risk, and mitigation.


James also taught us about the strategy triangle when conducting your analysis because it is important to catch the tension between the three components and realize if they all align with one another.



Our case study

During the second half of the lecture, we had the opportunity to go over a case study ourselves as a group. The case study was about Porter Airlines and we used all the steps above to gain a better understanding of the case and come up with our possible solutions. I can’t get into details about the case study itself since it’s confidential, however, I would like to say that it was a wonderful experience to go over an Ivey business case using the proper steps into tackling a case study. I will use the information I’ve learned today about case studies in the future because I do believe one day I’ll have to tackle a case study like the one we did with James, and the information we’ve learned will help! I’d like to conclude this blog by saying it was a pleasure meeting James and his lecture was very informative, useful, and enjoyable!