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Updated: Nov 28, 2020

Article By Jovan Hayre, St. Georges School, NHBC National Leader

Finance. Technology. Management Consulting. These are the three pillars that the Illuminate Vancouver conference will be focusing on this year. Illuminate Vancouver is a daylong conference for youth with a passion for the ever-changing world of business. The day will consist of an exciting array of workshops and guest speakers who will share their experiences and advice in their fields. Nearing the end of the conference, students will form groups to participate in a $1000 prize case competition! This case competition will require teamwork and cooperation as you work towards finding a solution for the case.

The students’ day starts early in the morning with the opening ceremony followed by the first Keynote presentation of the day. After this, they attend their workshops. They each got to choose workshops focusing on 2 of the 3 pillars. All of the workshop leaders offered unique and personal advice that they have learned during their lives, and their words resonated with everyone. Whether they were learning about finance, technology, or consulting, they all took away something that will stay with them in the years to come. After these workshops, the students had their second Keynote speaker, followed by a debrief of the Concentra case competition. The main focus in this one was to help Concentra expand their user base. In the tight time limit of 1.5 hours to prepare, the students learned about online banking, marketing, and teamwork. It would not have been possible to complete this without everyone giving it their 100%, and this really unified the groups and strengthened the bonds between everyone. After finishing the preparation, they all took a well-deserved lunch break. Once that was over, it was time to present all of the hard work. The judge tested your knowledge by asking some questions going into more detail about some of the points brought up.

The next case competition was the Ivey one. The work time was the same, except this time there was a lot more reading involved. Using what they learned from the previous case competition, everyone strived to do better and learn from their mistakes. The catch with this case was that visual aids weren’t allowed, so the students themselves had to make sure that they were keeping the judge's attention. This competition was about how the company “Alibaba” could stay relevant in the years to come. These presentations went on longer due to the judges asking more in-depth questions about points you brought up and points you didn’t cover so well. Once everyone had been judged, they all gathered back in the auditorium to find out and watch the top 3 presentations from each competition. When the winner was announced, the group was obviously very excited as they won the competition and the cash prize! While some other groups were a little disappointed they didn’t win, nobody was feeling too down because they know they all tried their best, and in the end, that’s what really matters. Intern rewards followed this, followed by a closing speech and a video of the day’s activities. Then everybody went home, exhausted yet accomplished.

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