Milloy speaks at annual Laurier business competition

At today’s BDO New Venture Competition finale at Wilfrid Laurier University, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy made a keynote address regarding post-secondary education.

“Wilfrid Laurier has a very well-deserved reputation for excellence when it comes to education in the field of business and economics,” said Milloy to the crowd, “And this shows why, with the fact that they would put together a competition like this and garner so much interest.”

Each fall term, BU111 students work in teams to come up with idea for a new venture, which they develop during the winter term in BU121. The top team in each lab goes on to present their business plan to a panel of judges from the community, who select a winner at the annual competition, which occurred this past weekend.

“It’s a great exercise not because it makes me nostalgic,” said Milloy, noting that he was once the Minister of Research and Innovation and telling stories of how he once met Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple. “It’s a great exercise because you’re developing skills and qualities which are going to carry you very far in the world.”

These skills were stressed during Milloy’s speech, where he touched on the importance of good communication and leadership skills. He said although businesses tend to hire individuals based on their technical skills, “We fire for the inability to be able to work in that group, to be able to make those pitches, to be able to communicate the ideas you want to put forward.”

Asked to share a few thoughts about his portfolio regarding post-secondary education, Milloy spoke to the crowd about where higher education has been, where it is right now and where it’s headed in Ontario.

“It’s all about quality and it’s about innovation. It’s about working with students and focusing what’s going on in the classroom and making sure you’re getting value for your tuition collar and you’re getting the type of training that you need to have good jobs as you move forward,” Milloy said regarding the future of education in the province.

To conclude his talk, Milloy congratulated those participating in this weekend’s competition as well as the university for its work to provide students with the skills they need to succeed in the job market. “I really want to applaud Wilfrid Laurier University…there’s a real interaction with business that gives all you students hands-on experience as you go forward.”

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