Hill JDC West: A love story
author: mason sliva | a&c editor
Finding comfort in stepping out of your comfort zone
Have you ever been on the verge of an event that you know will change your life forever? Stomach turning, mind racing, waiting to take the leap. As I sat on a bus with fifty of my peers, I knew my life would soon change.
Our bus was headed for the Rocky Mountains, and we would call Calgary our temporary home for the next four days. The past seven months could never fully prepare us for the wonder and excitement of the weekend.
JDC West is the crown-jewel of competitions for business faculties throughout Western Canada. The competition includes academic, sport, and social teams from twelve universities, including schools such as University of Saskatchewan, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, and of course, University of Regina. University of Regina’s team was led by its captains, Nicole Pyne and Rachel Langen, as well as multiple Hill JDC West alumni who have come back to support the team. “What inspired us to be captains is the opportunity to be a catalyst for growth for others and provide them wit the experiences we had as competitors,” added Nicole and Rachel.
Academic teams are given three hours to work through a real-life case, and then have twenty minutes to present in front of a panel of judges. Academic teams such as accounting, finance, and marketing – among many more – are forced to develop creative solutions to problems that real-life organizations face. Alongside the academic teams is a debate team, participating in a full parliamentary-style debate.
On top of academics, each school has a sport team competing in this year’s sports: tchoukball, and quidditch. As well, each school sends a social team that completes a multitude of challenges over the weekend. JDC West 2018 was hosted in Calgary from January 11-14.
The Paul J. Hill School of Business – also known as the University of Regina’s business faculty – was one of the first schools to join JDC West, and has since solidified its place as one of the best business schools in Western Canada. Hill joined JDC West in 2006, and has been named the School of the Year in 2012, 2014, and 2017.
However, Hill JDC West’s commitment is not limited to presentations. Over the past seven months, the team has contributed countless hours to local charitable causes such as the Regina Food Bank, and Hope’s Home, as well as major events such as Agribition, and Regina Folk Fest. Overall, the Hill JDC West team has raised a combined total of, and has committed 3,585 hours to their community. Human resources team member Jacob Nelson managed to volunteer for 229 hours just by himself. “I got the opportunity to change, and it pushed me to change,” said Nelson. “It pushed me to get involved and made me grow as a human being.”
Hill has defined itself as one of the premier Canadian business faculties due to its commitment to programs such as JDC West. In fact, the University of Regina is one of the only Western Canadian university that features a course for JDC West members to perfect their abilities and improve real-world knowledge. The course was taught by JDC West’s faculty advisor, Randy Linton, and multiple local organizations such as Hillberg and Berk, Trademark Homes, and Wheelhouse Cycle Club presented to the class as a way of improving knowledge in that specific area.
Considering Hill’s JDC West team won School of the Year in 2017, it was almost certain that this year wouldn’t live up to those results. However, Hill had an amazing weekend in Calgary, and provided amazing results. Most importantly, Hill was recognized as the number two School of the Year for 2018, one of the highest honours for a Western Canadian business school.
Individually, Hill’s Business Strategy team, comprised of Bryce Riddell, Zachery Zabinsky, and Sarah Kreklewich, was named the best Business Strategy team in Western Canada.
“The whole thing starts off as an emotional rollercoaster. With all that emotional support around you, it doesn’t matter whether your first, second, or last,” said Zabinsky. “At that moment you know you’re no longer a team, but a family.”
On top of that, Hill’s Finance team – comprised of Jon Stricker, Riley Orchard, and Jackson Brailean – was named third overall, and Hill’s Taxation team – comprised of Janessa Fox, Lesia Lazurko, and Samantha Banescu – was also named second overall. The cherry on top of the JDC West cake, Hill’s Debate team (affectionately named the D-bags) – comprised of Jae Won Hur, Myles Fuchs, Nik Giokas, and Ben Hamilton – was named the third best debate team.
Overall, 2018 was a great success for Hill JDC West, and the team is extremely excited to head to Simon Frasier University (SFU) in Burnaby in 2019. Even though many members of Hill’s 2018 team are graduating and moving onto careers in business, there are still many members who will have one more kick at the can, and will hopefully bring the School of the Year award back to Regina in 2019.
JDC West was founded in 2006 as an extension of Quebec’s business competition, Jeux De Commerce, and has increased in scale every year. The competition aims not only to help young professionals become acclimated to the business environment, it also helps them develop professional relationships, and confidence in their abilities.
As I sat on the bus headed back to Regina after calling Calgary my home for the past four days, I realized that my life changed, and the way that I view challenges will never be the same.