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Grand Falls-Windsor college students tie for first place in business competition in Qatar

(From left to right) Tanya Fizzard, Crystal Ford, Joan Pynn and Angie Brown proudly display the Grand Falls-Windsor flag in the deserts of Qatar.
(From left to right) Tanya Fizzard, Crystal Ford, Joan Pynn and Angie Brown proudly display the Grand Falls-Windsor flag in the deserts of Qatar. - Submitted

Trophy too big to bring home

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – Three students from the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) in Grand Falls-Windsor have proven their prowess in academics abroad.
Crystal Ford, Angie Brown and Tanya Fizzard bested eight other teams – all local to the region of Qatar – en route to a first place draw with Prince Phillip Drive Campus in a two-day competition at CNA’s Qatar campus. The students received certificates but couldn’t bring the trophy home because it was too big.

“The experience was amazing,” said Ford. “Culturally and academically it was the best experience of my life. I learned so much and gained so much knowledge with regards to business and the academic side, as well as experiencing a new culture, which was absolutely amazing.”

Joan Pynn, campus administrator in Grand Falls-Windsor, accompanied the students to Qatar Feb. 13-19.

Each November CNA in Grand Falls-Windsor hosts a provincial business case competition for all campuses. The team that comes first goes to Qatar to compete in its business case competition. The team from Grand Falls-Windsor won the provincial competition.

During competition, students are presented with a business case and given two and a half hours to solve the problem and create an implementation plan. Problems could revolve around finance, human resources or marketing. The team then presents its findings to a panel of judges.

(From left to right) Angie Brown, Joan Pynn, Crystal Ford and Tanya Fizzard pose with their trophy after winning the business case competition in Qatar.
(From left to right) Angie Brown, Joan Pynn, Crystal Ford and Tanya Fizzard pose with their trophy after winning the business case competition in Qatar.

Pynn said her students were not only incredible ambassadors for CNA, but also for their town and province. She said they brought the spirit of Newfoundland with them to Qatar in the close competition.

“Neither one of my students had ever been there (Qatar) before, so it’s a whole cultural experience, and the presentation and the cases – you’re in a different culture so the cases are a little bit different. I have to say, I was very impressed with them.”

The trip and competition in Qatar became more than just academics.

“They got to know a lot of the students from there,” Pynn said, including a group of first-year students from Qatar that the home team plans to coach via Skype for CNAQ’s regional competition in Qatar.
“My three girls are going to work with them and help coach them as they get ready for their next competition. It’s a nice inter-campus piece.”

Pynn knows the importance of opportunities such as these and what they can mean professionally and personally to competing students.

“To be able to put (on a resume) that they are winners in an international business case competition, employers know what that means,” Pynn said.

The students not only flew home with a bolstered resume, but with an understanding of a foreign culture.

“Absolutely,” reiterated Ford. “It was absolutely great.”

** This article was updated on March 15 to correct misinformation. The Advertiser apologizes for any incovenience or embarrassment this may have caused.

Want to see more of what CNA students are getting up to? Check out this project.

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