New Zealand Photo Journal

The day I found out I was going to New Zealand I was absolutely glowing. The Alberta School of Business has an awesome business case competition program ran by Doug Leong, and though I had been chosen to compete in external case competitions like the Ethics in Action Competition at Dalhousie University and the CPA Board Governance Case Competition, I was always uncertain if I would be chosen to go on an international case competition. It seemed like the people going on these competitions to Spain, The Netherlands, and Hong Kong were leagues ahead of me in terms of their experience and ability in cases. This year, I got to compete on the JDC West Marketing Team, and through a stroke of good fortune and a zillion cases later, finally had enough experience to be chosen to represent the University of Alberta at the Champions’ Trophy Case Competition in Auckland, New Zealand.

We spent one week at this case competition, meeting our wonderful hosts from the University of Auckland (we kept arguing about which school is the real U of A!) and meeting other teams from all over the globe from the U.S., The Netherlands, Denmark Thailand, Australia, and China to name a few. The cases that we got to work on were absolutely incredible and exposed us to parts of New Zealand culture we had no idea about. Most notably, the cases that we got to present on were addressing issues faced by New Zealand Rugby and Air New Zealand.

After the case competition, we flew across the country to Queenstown, then to Wellington, and finally made our way back to Auckland for a final beach day with our new case competition friends from University of Auckland and Copenhagen Business School. We spent most of our time with the case competition in Auckland, and doing tourist-y things the rest of our stay.

Must-dos in Queenstown: Rent a car for this area because there is so much to see outside the city! Milford Sound tour, hike up Roy’s peak, grab a to-go lunch and eat it near the docks while listening to live music.

Check out in Wellington: Flight Coffee Hangar for flights of coffee – that’s right, 3 lattes all in one – you’ll be wired all afternoon. Te Papa museum & don’t miss the Maori altar, it’s the most stunning cultural piece you’ll ever see at a museum.

UAlberta team at the final gala during Champions’ Trophy. We didn’t place in the case competition, but we did win the Ka Pai Cup for team with best spirit!

Derby Debrief: What’s next for Northlands

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This past Saturday, we hit up the Canadian Derby at Northlands Park – potentially one of the last horse racing events at Northlands if Vision 2020 goes ahead. Northlands has a bold vision for its future which includes creating an Urban Festival Grounds, converting Rexall Place into an athletic complex, and converting Hall D into a 5000-seat venue for sporting events and mid-sized concerts. The new plan also extends into a refurbishment of Northlands’ agricultural strategy, which ranges from creating an urban farm and repurposing old satellite dishes into bee hive hubs.

While it’s sad that the horse track may have seen its last Derby, I’m excited to see how this new vision will unfold, especially if it means Edmonton could host a Lollapalooza or Osheaga of our own. As for the horse races, Horse Racing Alberta has received bids from four separate groups, but fingers crossed that the track stays close to Edmonton.

This was mine and Breanna’s first derby, and as far as pro tips go, the only thing I would do differently next year is make a day of it and organize a Derby brunch at Hotel Mac prior to. Hello, mimosas. A lot of ladies had exquisite hats which probably cost them a fortune, but you can also make a headpiece like I did or buy a fascinator at a vintage shop like Breanna. It was as simple as buying some feathers from a craft store, attaching them to a headband, getting some tulle from Fabricland, throwing in a polka-dot scarf, and adding a ribbon. As long as you have a rigid headband, you can attach anything your creative heart feels like and find yourself Derby-ready.

If you’re curious about Northlands Vision 2020, you can check out the whole spiel here, complete with larger-than-life renderings.

THE HAUL

Dress – vintage ; Shoes – Vince Camuto ; Headpiece – Homemade (see above)

Revelstoke Photo Journal

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Thank you to the University of Alberta Ski & Snowboard Club and Backside Tours for organizing an amazing trip to Revelstoke. In planning a ski trip over reading week, my friends and I were looking at getting a group of friends and renting out a cabin to ourselves in Banff. When we started looking at prices, we noticed that we could get all the way to BC, explore a new mountain we’ve never explored before, and meet new friends on the ski trip, all for less money and hassle than organizing it ourselves. You know people our age- sometimes they’re flakey-  and with this ski trip we could all sign up ourselves instead of trying to coordinate splitting a huge expensive cabin.
The bus ride over was a blast, and the ski club execs make sure to be as inclusive as possible: everyone ends up hanging out in the hot tub after riding and then partying in the exec’s rooms and heading out to the local pub together. [Side note: the hot tub was pretty dank and opaque. You just try not to think about these things.] The best part is you can go on these ski trips by yourself, with a friend, or with a large group and have an amazing time.Although we went with a group of 12, we also had 40 other friends to hang out with in the hot tub, on the hill, and at River City Pub. Even though I love Sunshine, Revelstoke was an amazing mountain to check out, especially this season with all the snow. It can be difficult to drive all the way down to BC, so going with a tour group definitely made that process a lot simpler.  Cheers to another great ski trip!

Silver Star Photo Journal

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Spent 5 gorgeous days hitting up some mad pow at Silver Star Mountain Resort (not featured in Vogue’s Under The Radar Canadian Ski Destinations, even though it totally should have been). I always believe that how you start the year (and finish it) sets the tone for the rest of the year. So, since I spent the 31st and the 1st going on double black runs that scare me to my bones, I’m dubbing 2016 the year of adventure.

To an adventurous 2016!

So ethical at Dalhousie University

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Representing the University of Alberta at the Scotiabank Ethics in Action Case Competition. We got 3rd place!

The case consisted of a 10-day prepared case that we worked on before going to Halifax, and a 3-hour case at Dalhousie University. The 3-hour case is intense: they locked our 4-person team in a room and we had 3 hours to read the case, come up with a solution, and make a PowerPoint. Shortly after we prepared the case, we were live in front of the judges presenting on a solution made up just a couple hours before. As this was an ethics competition, the solution was even more difficult because it had to be solid from an ethical perspective as well as making good business sense. Balancing the moral and monetary stakes in the solution made this one of the most challenging and rewarding cases I’ve ever done.

Although there was a huge academic component, there were also two wonderful dinners and an after-party where our team got to meet other undergrad and MBA teams from all across the country. After the case competition, our team decided to extend our stay in Halifax for three more days. From Alberta it’s an expensive flight that we wouldn’t be making any time soon, so it was totally worth it to stay the extra days.

We spent our time renting a car and visiting Peggy’s Cove (the most photographed lighthouse in the world!), taking a ferry to Dartmouth (another city just across the waterway), and walking around downtown Halifax. Coming from Alberta the buildings in Halifax were just incredible. The oldest buildings in Edmonton are pushing 100, so it was neat to see the architectural style of the 200+ year-old buildings.

Speaking of history, we took a tour of the Alexander Keith’s Brewery. Let me tell you, this is no ordinary brewery tour. Right before we started the tour, Derek was a bit skeptical and said “once you’ve seen one brewery tour, you’ve seen them all”. In this instance, boy was he proven wrong. The brewery tour turned out to be more like an interactive play, with all the tour guides in historical costumes guiding you through Keith’s brewery. The guides even performed a beautiful song, told us an anecdote, and taught us an old-fashioned card game. I was a bit grumpy about paying $20 for a brewery tour, but it was totally worth it. We all loved the tour so much that we drank nothing but Keith’s the rest of the trip!

But my favourite thing about Halifax is the nightlife. With 5 universities in Halifax alone, the bars stay open til 4am (compared to 2am here, which feels like a race against the clock!), and they are busy every night of the week. Our extended trip was from Sunday-Tuesday and we went out to bustling bars all three days of what I thought would be the slow part of the week. In fact, our flight was at 6am on Wednesday, so we ended up not paying for a hotel room that night and staying out all night and catching a taxi to the airport at 4am. Now that’s what I call smart travelling.
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THE HAUL

Blazer: Suzy Shier // Top: Workhall // Skirt: Zara // Shoes: Ralph Lauren