Team Niagara places fourth at Ontario Colleges Marketing Competition


Members of Team Niagara at the OCMC competition are pictured at the 2016 OCMC. Front row (from left): Kaitlyn Lawrence, Dylan Sneider, Tyler Warden, Laura Hawbolt, Hayley Baldin, Erica Keel, and Jack Woolfrey. Back row (from left): Malcolm Howe (coach), Terri Champion (coach), Riannon Bagnulo, Alyssa Toth, Fernando Gama de Oliveira, Mavis Lane, Coral Williams, Iris Lee, Rachel Friend, John Sustersic (coach). David Pastirik also coached but could not attend the event.

A team of Niagara College students finished fourth overall at the 2016 Ontario Colleges Marketing Competition.

Niagara’s 14 member team – which included students from the two-year Sales and Marketing program and three-year Business Administration Marketing program – took home three gold medals, one silver, and a fifth place finish. Overall, Team Niagara placed fourth in the competition.

“We are very proud of our group this year. They trained diligently and supported each other throughout the past three months,” said Malcolm Howe, professor from NC’s School of Business and Management Studies, and one of the team’s coaches.

There were several successes achieved by Niagara College’s students at the competition:

• Iris Lee (Business Administration Marketing and Coral Williams (Marketing Co-op) won gold in the Marketing Case category;

• Rachel (Sales and Marketing) won first place in the Quiz Bowl Event;

• Riannon Bagnulo (Sales and Marketing) won first place place in the Job Interview Event;

• Laura Hawbolt (Sales and Marketing) and Mavis Lane (Bus Admin Marketing) won second place in the Integrated Marketing Communications Case Event; and

• Tyler Warden and Kaitlyn Lawrence (Sales and Marketing Program) placed fifth in the Entrepreneurship Case Event.

“OCMC has given me more than I ever expected … I now have a beautiful trophy I am extremely proud of and will talk about this experience in any interview I have,” said Coral Williams, second-year Marketing Co-op student from St. Catharines.

Williams noted that the opportunity to be on Team Niagara gave her an experience beyond what could be achieved in the classroom.

“It’s just not possible to get that level of pressure that starts long before you are even heading to get your case; the experience you get in that 30 minutes; the excitement you feel when you envision the ideas and know you have a plan; the slight calm in the 90 seconds it takes to get to the presentation room (yes, we timed it before hand); the confidence you feel presenting the plan to the actual professionals in a manner that needs to be professional and strong …  that feeling of release when you walk out of a room knowing you did your best and put it all on the table … that is not possible in a classroom environment.”

Iris Lee, who is originally from South Korea and is a resident of St. Catharines, said that preparing for the competition involved many hours researching the industry, different marketing strategies and tactics, as well as practicing their presentation skills.

“Coral and I have put in a lot of work and are happy with what we have accomplished throughout the three months we’ve spent in preparation for this event,” said Lee. “Winning first in our case event was like adding the cherry on top of the overall achievement.”

Lee also noted how the experience of preparing for the OCMC benefitted her.  “Before entering into OCMC, I was more of a quiet and reserved person and took hours of practice before presentations. Preparing for OCMC has helped me become more outspoken, improved my presentation skills immensely, and provided me with the skills to think on my feet,” she said. “I feel that OCMC was a stepping stone to not only improve myself but also my first step forward in my marketing career.”

The OCMC is a student-focused learning experience that provides participants the ability to demonstrate their essential, vocational and employability skills before industry professionals. The prestigious competition is hosted annually by a different Ontario college and is driven as a student-centered event with volunteer faculty providing organizational assistance. The 2016 OCMC was held Nov. 24-26 at Conestoga College. For information visit


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