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Scotiabank and Ivey team up for a real-time case competition

  • Communications
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  • Apr 18, 2019
Scotiabank and Ivey team up for a real-time case competition

The competition’s winner, Nova Vision, stands between (left) Yannick Abba, and HC Zhang and (right) Clara Penuela, Hannes Huck, and Fabian Serrato Lopez.

Scotiabank has returned to the Ivey classroom to work with MSc students in the International Business (IB) stream on a strategic challenge that is thousands of miles and many geographies away.

It is the new Ivey MSc Scotiabank International Business Case Competition, and the challenge for IB student teams is to immerse themselves in the risks, challenges and opportunities the Bank faces in doing business in Pacific Alliance countries (PAC) – a Latin American trade bloc formed by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru – given its current political, social and economic environment.

It joins the MSc Hack the Case competition as the second major, real-time learning case contest and reinforces the culture of experiential learning in the MSc Program.

This is not a typical case competition facing these students. It’s a real-time problem that Scotiabank is facing right now, and the organization is looking for potential insights and perhaps “aha moments” that will help play a role in addressing certain strategic challenges.

“Scotiabank has already laid a lot of ground in the PAC region, and it is a key engine of growth internationally,” says Hannes Huck, Director of Global Retail Risk Policies. “We want students to give us a view on our competitors, their value propositions and how are we positioned against them.”

And the teams had 2.5 days to do it!

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Experiential learning under pressure

The event kicked off Monday, April 15, with the introduction of the case by Professor Greg Zaric, MSc Faculty Director. After the introduction, students immediately got to work on their presentations for the Scotiabank judges at the Scotiabank Centre on Thursday.

The case came from a collaboration between the Scotiabank team and Zaric and Assistant Professor Chengguang Li.

“There are a whole host of factors the students needed to think about – from the social and political environments to changing regulations, demographics and economics – you name it. So all kinds of things could influence their assessments.”

Guidance along the way

“Students have to come up with strategically sound and creative decisions to help address real-world challenges facing Scotiabank, and help it make smart decisions for operating in a rapidly-changing environment,” says Andreas Schotter, associate professor in International Business and F.W.P. Jones Faculty Fellow.

Schotter kick-started the students’ research efforts, and, together with mentors from Scotiabank, helped guide the students in preparing for Presentation Day.

“They will be working with the actual Scotiabank teams responsible for this business,” says Schotter. “Students will shine a light on this highly dynamic and complex environment using the knowledge they’ve gained from their classes, plus their own culturally-diverse backgrounds, to propose solutions.”

An opportunity for self-discovery

Scotiabank has been a growing part of the MSc experiential learning environment – as data donor for the Hack the Case event for three years, and now with the introduction of the new case competition.

“It’s been great for the MSc Program,” says Zaric. “Because of the success of Hack the Case, we wanted to develop something similar for the International Business students. While this is an obvious learning experience for students, we also hope that this will be a fun and memorable experience, and that there will also be a moment of self-discovery for the type of work they would like to do in the future.”

Competition winners

Winners of the competition were:

  • Nova Vision: Stephanie Aldana, Jiale Guan, Bryan Laks, Jesse (Yuhang) Qin, and Jacinda Vo.


  • The Caffeine Dream Team - Grounds for Concern: Siggi Hansen, Emily Houghton, Shirley (Qiudi) Li, Sheldon (Wang Kit) Ng, and Julia Paterson. 
  • Ideas R Us: Harshavardhan Buchake, Jordan He, Judy (Junyi) Liang, Alina Pinsky, and Abby (Abigail) Wilson.