Event Recaps

Apprentice Round 2: Schulich Thinks Big


By: Kyle Vertierra - Project RED Director

Round 2 of the Apprentice is officially in the books. 

Last Friday, the Top 10 teams from Round 1 of the Apprentice assembled at General Mills' Corporate Office to face their next challenge: to develop a disruptive marketing campaign for General Mills integrating the future of retail -  E-commerce. 

Competition Day started with a pleasant surprise from General Mills. In addition to touring their sublime office space, delegates were invited to take part in a company-wide meeting where they were able to catch a sneak peek of an upcoming General Mills campaign and even meet Olympic Gold Medalist Vicky Sunohara. Nevertheless, competitors were able to brush off their excitement and keep their composure as they prepared for their presentations.

Desiree Brassard (Associate Director, Top 30 Under 30) kicking off Round 2 of the Apprentice

Desiree Brassard (Associate Director, Top 30 Under 30) kicking off Round 2 of the Apprentice

Judging the competition was an esteemed panel of General Mills judges featuring: JP Del Carmen (Associate Marketing Manager), Luke Allen (Sales Director), Nicole Korb (Associate Marketing Manager), and Jacky Lam (Account Development Manager).

While competitors only had one week to tackle the case, it did not stop them from bringing their A-game to the competition. Across the board, the panel of judges praised Schulich students for their high level, creative, and implementable solutions to the case. These sentiments were notably echoed by Judge Allen who, while a devout Laurier alumnus, jokingly declared that he now may consider allowing his children to apply to Schulich after seeing the quality of the presentations! 

Competitors also had a lot to say about their experience at General Mills. Connie Quach noted, "presenting at the General Mills office was an exhilarating experience. I was able to learn about their amazing corporate culture, learn from their current employees and see the impact they have on the community". Monique Mai added, "presenting to General Mills representatives was definitely an eye-opening experience. I was really nervous, but everyone there was so welcoming and supportive that it eased my nerves instantly. It‘s definitely an experience I would do all over again".

JP Del Carmen, Luke Allen, and Jeevan Grewal (Senior Trade Marketing Analyst) announcing the Top 5 teams from Round 2 of the Apprentice

JP Del Carmen, Luke Allen, and Jeevan Grewal (Senior Trade Marketing Analyst) announcing the Top 5 teams from Round 2 of the Apprentice

Despite all of the excellent presentations, unfortunately only the top five teams could advance to Round 3 of the Apprentice. Congratulations to the top five teams: Fire and Desire (Hiba Shaikh & Siyara Jayasinghe), Pretty Little Marketers (Connie Quach & Nicole Tsinas), MJ (Junjun Liu & Meena Shan), Team M&M (Monique Mai & Monica Peav), and Lucid Dreamers (Jenny Chu & Amir Larjani).

If there is anything that Round Two showed us, it's that Round Three is looking to be an epic finish to an already historic competition. Who will rise to the challenge and take it all? Find out on November 17.

My Apprentice Experience


By: Michelle Bui - Case Competitions Director

Last year, I had the incredible opportunity to compete in Apprentice. Entering into my second year, the only previous case competition experience that I had was Pitch Perfect (ironically enough, this was YMA's first-year case competition before we rebranded it this year to Breaking Brand).


Clearly, my case competition experience was not at all extensive compared to other applicants but I wanted to give it a shot anyways. That leap of faith ended up leading me through all three rounds of the competition to become one of the Top 5 teams. Although my partner and I never placed in any of the rounds, the experience of our Apprentice journey was so worthwhile. Our journey was full of unforgettable moments from the crazy ideas we pitched to one another to practicing for hours on end. With every part, I can attest that we both learned so much from our Apprentice Experience.

Here are my 7 reasons why you should compete for Apprentice:

1) Expose yourself to different industries in marketing

Each round of Apprentice is sponsored by a company in a different industry (i.e. CPG, telecommunications, etc). By tackling marketing issues that are situated in different industries, you can gain insight into what type of work you will be involved in. With a little taste of everything, this can really help in determining what type of industry you best fit in. I found that while there were cases that I loved working on, there were others that I had less interest in. While taking on these cases gave me a challenge, it allowed me to learn.

2) Meet & network with industry professionals

Within each round, you will have the opportunity to meet with the company's representatives. With a tighter pool of competitors in comparison to the number of delegates who attend a large-scale networking event, you can talk one-on-one with the judges or any other industry professionals that the sponsor brings.

3) Improve case and presentation skills

What’s a better way to practice your public speaking and case skills than to test them out at a case competition? 

4) Receive critical feedback

Even if you do not move onto the next round, the judges are able to give you feedback on your presentation and ideas so you know what to consider moving forward, allowing you to develop and improve.

5) Tackle real and current industry problems to get a taste of what the marketing field offers

If you’re considering marketing, Apprentice is a great opportunity to get hands-on experience in taking on real issues that these companies are encountering. You can go beyond classroom learning to execute an actual strategy and take ownership of your work.

 6) Exercise creativity and practice self-sufficiency and self-learning

Each case has different deliverables that will force you to extend your creative limits. You have complete authority and flexibility with what you want to do. Outside of the creativity behind the campaign, you also need to use data to back up and validate your ideas. The process calls for a lot of learning, but you’ll be so proud of the work that you accomplish and are able to call your own.

 7) Showcase your skills and ideas in front of recruiters and industry reps

Our sponsors for Apprentice are currently recruiting - this is a great opportunity to show them what you are capable of!