Red River College representatives win financial planning competition


BY Skye Thorleifson

(From left to right) Shannon Krahn, Virginia Giesbrecht, Shelby Joss, and Vitor Machado e Melo, the winners of the 2018 Canadian Institute of Financial Planning Case Challenge, gather together following an exam on April 16, 2018./SKYE THORLEIFSON


Business Administration students Shelby Joss, Virginia Giesbrecht, Vitor Machado e Melo, and Shannon Krahn attended the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning Case Challenge in Calgary, Alberta, on March 10, 2018. It was the first time Red River College had been represented.


It was also the first time a RRC team won first place in the challenge.


“I don’t think any of us were expecting to come in first,” said Giesbrecht, 24.


The competition, held at Bow Valley College, saw students take a two-hour session to prepare their presentation based on a case provided to them. The RRC team presented their findings to a panel of judges in a 20-minute presentation at 3:45 p.m., the second-last group to do so.


Joss, 23, recalled one thing that Maria Vincenten, their instructor, said to the group following their presentation: “If you guys didn’t place, the competition is rigged.”


Vincenten attributed this statement to the quality of her student’s presentation and highlighted a key question that was asked of every group in relation to their case. RRC was the only team to answer this question correctly.


Joss, 23, says that being able to present and win the competition was an amazing feeling, especially considering that her team was the first to represent RRC.


“I’m close to the people on the Vanier team, as well – that’s the marketing version on this – and we were getting heckled a bit being the first team [from RRC], saying ‘Are you going to do as well as us, being fourth?’” said Joss.


Vincenten described the feeling of her students winning as being surreal, considering they only started taking finance courses during their second year.


“To go against schools that have two-year programs… or other schools that have three-year courses, to be able to go there and represent that way – it was great,” said Vincenten.


The team will be facing similar competition in June when they attend the first-ever national competition in Halifax. Vincenten and her students plan to meet at least three more times during the spring to practice evaluating and presenting new cases.


The IFP Case Challenge trophy stands on display in the Business Administration office on April 19, 2018. /SKYE THORLEIFSON