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Jan. 8, 2018

Gamification, artificial intelligence and voice assistants that enhance customer service and confidence were among the themes pitched by first-year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) students as part of a recent live case competition in the Lazaridis School’s first-year Business 111 (BU111) course.

The case, sponsored by TD, asked 2,100 students enrolled in BU111 to think of new ways in which TD could deliver on its brand promise and increase its market share through innovative technology solutions. Senior leaders from TD attended the final presentations, selected the winning team, and offered summer jobs to each member on the team as an added surprise for the students.

The winning team was comprised of four double-degree students: Hayden Carver, Tristan Donelle, Natasha Kasunic and Erica Yang. Their winning case proposed that TD implement “MyAdvisor”  a virtual personal banker for each customer.

Using artificial intelligence, MyAdvisor could help TD get to know the personal spending patterns of its customers in order to make recommendations on spending or saving, help them increase financial literacy and be confident that they can reach their financial goals.

The group opened their presentation with a casual conversation between one of the team members and MyAdvisor, demonstrating that any customer could access MyAdvisor from any location using a smart phone or computer.

This was the first time TD participated in the live business case competition and as Colleen Johnston, special advisor to the CEO at TD, and one of the competition judges, said of the winning students, “You have exceeded all of our expectations. We’re thrilled to see that you totally ‘got’ TD  who we are, our passion for the customer and for excellence, for financial literacy, and for reinventing the customer experience.”

TD offered summer jobs to each of the four first-year students on the MyAdvisor team and a scholarship of $750 per student. Johnston added that all of the case studies will be coming back to TD, so that the organization can also learn and benefit from the students’ perspectives and innovative thinking.

BU111 is a required course for all BBA students in the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. Coordinated by Associate Professor Sofy Carayannopoulos, the course enrolls 1,200 BBA students and more than 800 students from across Laurier and the University of Waterloo. The live case project is worth 20 per cent of the students’ grade. Two per cent of the students enrolled in the class make it to the final competition.

“This case competition exposes first-year students in their first few weeks of class to real technology-related issues with real companies and senior-level executives. It is incredibly demanding and every year I am more and more impressed by the quality of presentations and recommendations our first-year students come up with,” said Carayannopoulos. “This was a particularly challenging case because it was so broad; the students could have taken this case anywhere, and they came up with some really unique and incredibly thoughtful ways in which TD can fulfill their brand promise.”

Judges from TD Bank Group included: Colleen Johnston, special advisor to the CEO, TD Bank Group; Jeff Henderson, BBA ’89, executive vice-president and CIO, TD Bank Group and former TA for BU111/121; Jeff Martin, senior vice-president and CTO, Infrastructure Technology Solutions, TD Bank Group; Wendy Arnott, vice-president, Customer Experience and Innovation, TD Bank Group; and Colleen Moorehead, BBA, ’81, chief client officer, Ossler and former Head TA of BU111/121.

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