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MSc · Caleb Piche-LaRocque

CEMS North American Summit

Nov 27, 2023

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Have you ever heard of the North American Summit? Let me tell you about it! The first-ever NAS (North American Summit) took place in Toronto this past November. Over 35 students from Cornell University & Ivey Business School came together to dive into the nuances of innovative industries such as Blockchain, AI, and the intersection of technology with our global financial systems. World leading firms such as Accenture and Deloitte’s FAST50 award winning company, VirgoCX were in attendance. The insight gathered during the skills seminar and our numerous networking events is truly invaluable.

Our first event of the weekend with Accenture took place in the heart of the city. We toured their four-story offices in the second tallest tower in Toronto. You should have seen their coffee machines! The consultants were all remarkably interesting and had lots to share in the networking session. After exploring their beautiful office, it was time for dinner. Medieval Times hosted us for a one-of-a-kind dinner & show. Knights fighting, horses racing, mixed in with a little competition was a recipe for a great evening. I am sad to announce our knight did not win... But nonetheless, gave us an experience to remember!

The following day, during our walking tour of the city, our guide had a few fun facts for us. The group’s favourite was without a doubt that whale bones were found in Lake Ontario. For those of you not familiar with the area, the ocean is very, very far from Toronto. This caused many conspiracies to take place and be shared during the rest of the day. Moving on from the interesting history of the lake, we headed to our blockchain skill seminar. The goal of the seminar, hosted by VirgoCX, in partnership with Ivey alumni working in the industry, was to innovate the use of this emerging technology and apply it to real-world business use cases. To make it a little interesting, a case competition was established with some neat prizes. The team that got first place won an entry to Toronto’s SOHO house, an exclusive club for senior leadership in the city. Second place received a humble coffee mug with wheels, while 3rd finished with a miniature mug to drink their espressos in the morning!

We wrapped up a busy weekend with a dinner & drink event with our favourite alumni. I would like to thank everyone for participating and looking forward to joining in a few years as an alumnus!