Schulich students go to world finals in marketing competition


Above, left to right: The “Trendsetters” – Anna Waskow, Yasna Beheshti and Pooja Subramanian

A group calling themselves “Trendsetters” – International BBA students from York’s Schulich School of Business – unleashed their passion and creativity in the national finals of an international competition and won.

On April 29, at L’Oréal Canada’s company headquarters in Montreal, the “Trendsetters” received the exciting news that they’d captured first place in the company’s Marketing Award National Final. They were pitted against two other teams from Schulich and three from HEC Montréal.

“Paris is ours!” exclaimed Pooja Subramanian, upon first hearing of her team’s victory, speaking on behalf of fellow team members, Yasna Beheshti and Anna Waskow. The three were commended for their development of an “outstanding marketing strategy” for a new product line for Biotherm Homme. The win means that the “Trendsetters” will have to aggressively defend their marketing vision against 25 top business schools worldwide at L’Oréal’s headquarters in Paris, June 9 and 10. 

“The ‘Trendsetters’ set themselves apart through their out-of-the-box media and point-of-sales merchandising plan,” commented Luc Nadeau, president of the L’Oréal Marketing Award jury and VP of the Luxury Product Division at L’Oréal Canada. “Their strategy was strongly supported by an insightful market analysis that allowed for an immediately marketable product line.” The jury was composed of L’Oreal Canada and Publicis executives.

“We’re very pleased that a team of Schulich students captured the 2004 Canadian National L’Oréal Marketing Award title,” said Dezsö J. Horváth (right), dean of Schulich and recipient of the Academy of International Business 2004 Dean of the Year Award. “Schulich is well known for its strength in marketing, and today’s results confirm that our marketing faculty and students are among the best in the country.”

The “Trendsetters” are blazing trails in other ways. They are all fourth-year honours students in the inaugural graduation class of Schulich’s first international bachelor of business administration (iBBA) degree program.

The two other Schulich teams that competed in the national finals were: “Azure” – Melissa Cain (BBA ’04), Jason Keen (BBA ’04) and Christina Sit Yee (iBBA ’04); and “Tribe” – Nalini Mariappan (iBBA ’04), Dieter Stefely (iBBA ’04) and Stella Law (BBA ’04). All three Schulich teams spent more than six months working with Schulich marketing Professor Ajay Sirsi on the competition. Ashwin Joshi (right), also a Schulich marketing professor, helped hone the teams’ presentation skills for the finals.

The award

Introduced in 1993, the L’Oréal Marketing Award is a creative marketing competition for undergraduate students from the most prestigious business universities around the world. Participants live the experience of being a brand manager, work with a communications agency, create new products and express their ideas. Since its inception, as many as 11,000 students from 100 universities worldwide have been challenged by this unparalleled real-life professional experience.