RCIG Year in Review
The 2020-21 academic year marked the beginning of a period where the Rotman Commerce Innovation Group lived up to the innovation in our name and pushed past the barriers that have traditionally existed when it comes to student engagement. Approaching the transition towards an ‘online year’ with enthusiasm as opposed to trepidation, we were able to customize our conventional offerings, as well as devising entirely new events for the Rotman Commerce community. With a return to on-campus activity almost upon us, casting an eye over RCIG’s exploits last year is the perfect way to raise anticipation regarding what the future holds.
Traditionally conducted in a mini-case competition format to give first-year students an insight into a common business exercise, our ambition with the Catalyst last year was to make it a more enriching experience, where students could leave with the opinion that they had truly learnt skills they could use in their future endeavours. A rotation system was used to allow students to experience a range of workshops run by RCIG members, ranging from interview preparation to an introduction to the basic features of RC life. This reform was one both our members and incoming first-years enjoyed, and we aim to continue developing this experience for our audience this year.
Ventures and Visionaries
The first of three completely new events offered by RCIG last year, V&V was designed as a panel-style interaction between the audience and four start-up executives/owners. The event allowed attendees to gain a firsthand view of the obstacles faced by start-up owners, opportunities in the field and how to successfully navigate Canadian business dynamics. With RC witnessing a growing start-up culture across the past few years, and few events designed to explore this sector of business, V&V provided an excellent platform for the exploration of the start-up world. Whilst the event will not be making a return this year, we hope to continue encouraging start-up culture through our events.
Conducted in collaboration with the Rotman Commerce Business Design Association (RCBDA), Deconstructing Design saw representatives from various companies (including Deloitte, OMERS and Rogers to name a few) conduct workshops for students oriented around the vast field of design thinking. Workshop topics included learning about the DVF model, ‘OMERS playbook’ as well as Service Design and the Business Trifecta (to name but a few). One of our ambitions here at RCIG at the start of the year was to offer students the chance to explore non-traditional fields in business, and our collaboration with RCBDA truly allowed us to do so.
Alongside the Rotman Commerce Consulting Association (RCCA) and Rotman Commerce Fintech Association (RCFTA), we were able to offer an event tailored towards introducing groups to consulting firms in niche sectors, such as environmental, healthcare and product design consulting. Students were able to engage in mini case studies, expanding their business knowledge and learning key interview skills, as well as being provided with the opportunity to network with representatives from these companies and truly understanding their day-to-day roles and strategies to successfully enter the world of consulting. Consulting Expo will also be offered this year (with a few changes), and we are excited to see how we can continue its development.
Our flagship event of the year, Networking Night was a true demonstration of RCIG’s determination to separate ourselves from the crowd and provide a captivating experience for our audience, even in an online setting. Leveraging the HIVE platform designed by IBI group, students were able to interact with representatives from a range of industries (including CPG, Technology and Finance) through both group networking sessions, as well as individual conversations through Wonder. Despite the ‘Zoom-fatigue’ setting in across the years, we witnessed a record turnout for Networking Night, and we hope to provide a similar experience (hopefully in an in-person setting) this year as well.
Our biggest collaboration to date, we partnered with five other campus groups in varying fields to offer a virtual conference focusing on innovation in different sectors of the business world, including the practical application of AI, capital market automation and rapidly changing financial markets. The event was composed of three major components: an optional case competition, an open forum and a series of showcases across two days. RCIG’s primary role was to run the case competition, which we did in collaboration with our case partner, Uber. Students were able to propose solutions for our case partner in regards to their ambition to support local businesses, and observing the enthusiasm with which the RC community engaged in this non-traditional prompt was a fantastic reflection for our university. With this being our final event, it was a perfect way to cap off our year.
With this year behind us, we are so excited for what the 2021-22 academic year will bring and we can't wait to see you at our upcoming events! You can find more details across our social media platforms and website.