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24-Hour Case in Experiential Learning

Contributed by Rebecca Hull, Marketing and Communications Strategist

For the second year in a row, the DeGroote School of Business hosted the 24-Hour Case for all first year students at the end of January. This case-based learning is a guided inquiry method used as part of the Bachelor of Commerce program. Students had to solve a financial literacy problem within 24 hours. This behemoth experiential activity involved over 900 students, 15 staff and faculty, 50 student advisors and volunteers, and 40 alumni and employer partners.

168 student groups presented a 7-minute action plan and recommendation to one of 18 judging panels, each consisting of faculty, alumni, and/or employer partners on the topic of financial planning. Top performing teams were acknowledged at the closing ceremony, exactly 24 hours later.

As DeGroote continues to work on refining and redesigning the Bachelor of Commerce curriculum, we will continue to provide innovative learning opportunities like the 24-Hour Case. And together, with the generosity and collaboration from the DeGroote community, we will create a brighter world.

Why is experiential learning important?

Sarah Rotella, Lead Student Volunteer

Experiential learning is important because not only does it enhance students’ knowledge and aptitude of content, but it allows them to be engaged. It can be easy to forget content learned in a lecture or read out of a textbook, but what sticks with most people are the experiences they have and the feeling they get from being engaged in an activity.

Joel MacPherson, Lead Student Volunteer

The classroom setting gives students the foundation to understand material, but experiential learning is truly where they practice what they learned. You have a chance to learn from these experiences, make mistakes, and correct yourself. You learn the secrets to success through time management, taking risks, and studying/working smart.

What is the benefit for first year students to participate in the 24-Hour Case?

Meg Miller, Student Advisor

First year students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their teamwork and analytical skills during the 24-Hour Case. Taking advantage of new experiences like case studies and work terms allows students to apply knowledge learned in the classroom and combine it with skills gained from previous experiences. This allows them to develop a well-rounded perspective that will benefit them in the future.

Connor Tedford, Student Advisor

Students benefit greatly from being able to experience what a case competition really is, as it is a unique experience that many may not otherwise try on their own. It helps them develop presentation and analytical skills, while working under very tight deadlines. These skills are highly transferable to their educational, professional, and personal lives. Case studies present students with new challenges that will help them in the future.

What impact did the 24-Hour Case have on your development as a Business student?

24-Hour Case Top Performing Team: (L-R) Adam Ciccolini, Ali Shaheer, Tina Lam, Emily Kuo, Evan Carbert, and Kellin Thom. Photo courtesy of @muchmoreishan.

Adam Ciccolini, First Year Student

By participating in the 24-Hour Case, I broadened my understanding of the business community and gained an expanded knowledge of some basic concepts like budgeting and saving. An event of this size brings all the commerce students together to work on a problem. We had to work together to brainstorm ideas, prepare our presentations, calculate and manage time, and develop relationships with others. I learned more about how my peers address issues, and how they think and act.

Tina Lam, First Year Student

I was expecting to hone my presentation and problem-solving skills by participating in the 24-Hour Case. That is exactly what happened. The ability to develop creative solutions is very important in business, which is what this experience was all about. I learned to trust my team members, play to my strengths, and how to improve my presentation skills. The Case taught all of us to get out of our comfort zone and meet new people because this can bring great assets to your development as a student.

Kellin Thom, First Year Student

Prior to the 24-Hour Case I felt I didn’t have the confidence or abilities to do well. I learned to have faith in myself and to rely on my abilities to work through a problem. This Case was a great experience as I gained so much from participating. I have a boost of confidence in myself! I gained knowledge of my weaknesses, developed critical thinking skills, worked on my time management, and collaborated with my peers.


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