GPRC I&E Challenge Team Profile: Team #1 (Growing the North)

(L-R) Elizabeth Vidrih, Holly Thiessen, and Zachary Grinnell meet to discuss their project for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge.

GPRC’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge is well underway for the seven students who are competing this year.

In this GPRIN-sponsored challenge, teams of students work collaboratively with a business in the community to tackle a professional project or identify solutions to a challenge faced by the business. The first team of four is working with the Growing the North business conference to develop a promotional video; the second, a team of three, is working with GPRC’s National Bee Diagnostic Centre to improve the design of a piece of diagnostic equipment.

Introducing Team #1: Growing the North Promotional Video

GPRC business administration student Elizabeth Vidrih says participating in the challenge hasn’t just enhanced her learning—it has changed the course of her education.

“The challenge inspired me to switch my major from accounting to management,” Vidrih said. She explained that after exploring her creative side and acting in a leadership role on her team, she realized a management major suited her strengths and interests better than the orderly, numbers-governed world of accounting. “Rules are very important in accounting, but I’ve realized that I don’t like to follow the rules,” she laughed. “This project was a great way for me to dip my toes into that world of management.”

Vidrih is working on a promotional video for Growing the North with three of her classmates from GPRC’s Business Administration program. Vidrih, along with teammates Zachary Grinnell, Holly Thiessen and John Wanotch, first developed an interest in Growing the North when they attended the event last year. All four teammates are looking forward to shedding light on what Vidrih called “an extremely beneficial conference.”

Teams did not have to tackle their challenge alone – they were given access to resources and expertise in the community and the College. Vidrih’s team was able to draw from the wisdom of local filmmaker and business owner Len Morissette, who is the founder of CIA Solutions Inc., and from GPRC video production instructor David McGregor. “We had so much support,” said Vidrih. “When we first started, I was worried our team was going to be thrown to the wolves a little bit, but it didn’t feel like that. It was so helpful to have access to all that material, equipment, and expertise. It was amazing. I think I can speak on behalf of my team when I say to our mentors, thank you!

Teams will have the opportunity to present their challenge solutions in January, when a Challenge winner will be announced.

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