Two Schulich students could be Canada’s Next Top Ad Executives

Two of York’s Schulich School of Business students could be Canada’s Next Top Ad Executives (CNTAE).

Telis Carayannakis (iBBA candidate ’13) and Mishbah Bholat (BBA candidate ’13) were named among the top 10 teams in the nationwide advertising and marketing case competition on TopAdExec2Friday. On March 26, they will go head-to-head against opponents from Memorial University, Queen’s University, University of Alberta, University of Guelph and Wilfrid Laurier University to impress a judging panel of marketing and advertising executives with their integrated marketing campaigns for the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox.

More than 200 ambitious Canadian students entered the 2013 CNTAE competition, which aims to bridge the gap between industry and academia. In addition to experiential learning benefits, such as developing comprehensive strategy documents and participating in a real-world client pitch, the top 10 teams have the opportunity to participate in virtual mentorship sessions.

“The passion and professionalism the students bring to the final judging round each year is contagious,” says Kevin Williams, president and managing director, GM Canada. “The Equinox is a game-changing brand for Chevrolet that requires an equal level of innovation and creativity in its marketing. The top 10 finalist teams have really stepped up to the plate and we’re looking forward to seeing what they bring to the table during the final round.”

The battlefield in Toronto is cutthroat, as finalists will pitch their big ideas in front of a judging panel of more than 20 industry executives from companies such as GM, PepsiCo Canada, Canadian Tire, McDonalds, GCI, MacLaren McCann, Carat, Tyco and more. These judges will provide students with feedback and insight based on their industry experience. Presentations will be TopAdExecfollowed by a grilling period where judges can ask specific questions about each pitch before heading into the deliberation session.

“The top 10 teams know that the final round of competition is their chance to swim with the big fish in the industry,” says Cera McTavish, co-chair, CNTAE. “It’s their first shot at earning their stripes in an industry always on the lookout for the next big idea, so we’re expecting some exciting and lively presentations.”

The final round of presentations will take place on March 26 at an awards gala taking place at the InterContinental Hotel in Toronto. The gala will include an evening of networking with industry professionals, including keynote speaker Natasha Hritzuk, global director of insights and analytics at Microsoft Advertising, media and Canada’s finest business students. This year, Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec has upped the ante, as the winning team will drive away with the grand prize of two fully loaded 2013 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ RS vehicles. The students are also competing for internships with GM, PepsiCo and Canadian Tire, as well as $7,000 in scholarships from Chevrolet Canada.

Student admission to the all-day Awards Gala, including three meals, is $125. Dinner alone is $85. A full table of eight students is $600.

General admission to the all-day Awards Gala, including three meals, is $250. Dinner alone is $110. A full table of eight is $760.

Register for the awards gala here.