Four students in the School of Business at ATU Galway-Mayo have won first place in the 2024 West Canada Business Competition hosted by Douglas College, Vancouver. Tomas Feerick, third year accounting degree student from Monivea, Co Galway; Panna Miko, fourth year marketing and sales degree student from Galway city; Nicole O’Reilly, fourth year business degree student from Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, and Martin Lohan, fourth year business degree student from Barnaderg, Tuam, Co Galway competed against teams from colleges across western Canada from 8 to 10 March in Vancouver. In addition, the team won 2nd prize in the Strategic Plan category and student Panna Miko won 2nd place in the individual overall category, great achievements in the face of very stiff competition.  The ATU Business School team was mentored by Colm Kelleher, lecturer in the School of Business, ATU Galway-Mayo.

The competition involved students using specialist simulation software to “run” a company, make decisions, receive feedback on the success of their decisions and make changes to their business strategy as the competition progresses. 

A panel of judges from business and industry assessed the competition, and the various teams were judged on aspects such as their strategic business plan, team presentations and the success of their decisions.  At the end of a hectic three days of the competition, the winners were announced at a gala dinner in Vancouver, and the team from the School of Business at ATU Galway-Mayo were announced as outright winners.

Dr Seamus Lennon, Head of School of Business, ATU Galway-Mayo, says: “The success of our student team is a fantastic achievement. Our business degrees are designed to be applied in nature, and with their lectures involve a lot of hands-on work in computer labs where the theory is put into practice.  Also, most of our degrees involve a work placement aspect, so our students gain skills such as critical thinking, decision making and teamwork.  All of these applied aspects of our business degrees stood to our students who were well placed to do well in this competition which involved a simulated business environment.”

Lecturer and mentor Colm Kelleher, School of Business, says: “This was our first time to compete in this competition.  To perform to such a high level, having travelled so far, and to beat colleges that had participated in the competition many times is a testament to the determination of the individual students and the quality of what they have learned on our programmes.  The students are fantastic ambassadors for their families, our School and ATU”. 

Michael Lisonbee, Associate Dean, Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration says: “The involvement of ATU teams adds a new international dimension to the competition and helps to further build links between our colleges.  ATU Galway’s winning team were outstanding throughout the weekend and both judges and staff were very impressed by their preparation, professionalism, and attitude.  We were delighted to afford them the opportunity to compete and excited that they were the overall winners; it was very well deserved.”

Students from Sligo and Galway-Mayo campuses competed in the Canadian competition, accompanied by ATU staff. The trip was supported by the Erasmus+ Programme, and coordinated through our campus-wide ATU Global Team.

ATU and Douglas College, Vancouver first established a partnership agreement in 2022 and signed a Collaborative Academic Agreement (CAA) for facility exchange in September 2023.
Douglas College staff are currently on a visit to ATU’s campuses in Galway, Mayo and Sligo.


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