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Managing disruptions in the workplace: The 2019 MBA Showcase

Jun 28, 2019

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The winning students: Brendan Horan, Wenzhou Zhao, Rohit Tanwar, Haoxing Chong, Shane Nightingale, Max Zhang and Rishi Sapra

What better way for students to learn the management of disruptions than to disrupt the way they analyze case studies?

The ninth annual MBA Showcase, which took place from June 25-27, introduced an integrated Case-Method Learning approach. Students were not only given traditional written case studies to review, they were also provided with supplementary materials, such as video interviews, to help set the stage for their group presentations.

This disruptive approach to learning tied in nicely with the overall theme: the management of disruptions. Students from Ivey’s MBA Program worked through three case studies where they analyzed and presented recommendations on disruptive themes, such as:

  • Trenchless technology as a mainstream alternative;
  • Diversity and inclusion in the workplace; and,
  • FinTech banking solutions for millennials.

The showcase gave students the opportunity to apply critical thinking and communicate persuasively in front of judges from Restaurant Brands International, RBC Royal Bank, Johnson & Johnson Inc. Canada and Boston Consulting Group.

Putting Ivey’s Leadership Essentials into action

Associate Professor Larry Menor, MBA Program Director, kicked off the three-day event with a few pieces of advice:

  1. Approach the cases as business challenges, not course-specific challenges.
    Adopt a cross-disciplinary, integrated lens when looking at the problems and determining particular solutions.

  1. Leverage the Ivey Leadership Essentials.
    Work through the complexity, communicate effectively and maximize team performance.
  1. Embrace the challenge.
    Think critically and provide solutions that benefit the decision-makers in each scenario.

Teamwork is key to success

Rishi Sapra and Niala Lafleur, both MBA ’20, applied Menor’s advice to the way they approached the MBA Showcase.

“I think the key to our success is the manner in which we composed our team,” said Sapra. “We all get along with each other, are highly professional, and bring unique skills to the table. We trusted and relied on each other to complete work independently and come together to constructively build solutions.”

Lafleur also reflected on how important the team selection process was for their performance.

“Selecting the team you work with is an integral part of the process,” said Lafleur. “Working with a diverse group of people teaches you how to leverage everyone’s strengths at the table, but also how to help your team, and allow them to help you stretch into new areas for learning opportunities.”

Sapra and Lafleur also credited their success in the showcase to their first few months in the MBA Program. In addition to the breadth of courses they’ve taken so far, they’ve been able to build strong resources and support systems with friends, career management and faculty members that have helped create a positive and memorable experience at Ivey.


Team 7 — Brendan Horan, Wenzhou Zhao, Rohit Tanwar, Haoxing Chong, Shane Nightingale, Max Zhang and Rishi Sapra


Team 14 — Keyun Ren, Sushant Haritas, Stephen (Youle) Kang, Navita Singh, Maninder Bhamra, Alisha Gautam, Mohammad Tibi and Ethan Zhang

Team 15 — Dilan Yogasundaram, Anthony Fusco, Kathleen Taylor, Piotr Job, Palak Jain, Akhil Agarwal, Anthony Mastroianni and Yong Long

Team 16 — Abbas Khambati, Phill Gibson, Riley Love, Sheena Malhotra, Ryan Mulligan, Abbas Rana and Alistair Leighton