Conferences on campus: QBET

What could one hundred free pitas have to do with today’s business environment?

At the Queen’s Conference on the Business Environment Today (QBET), there was much to learn from the CEO of Pita Pit at the kickoff taster event and other keynote speakers invited to share their career experience and industry knowledge.

Conferences like QBET are meant to engage students and foster networking connections, but they’re by no means a new opportunity nor in dying exhaust at Queen’s.

I spoke with one of the co-chairs of QBET, Kyle Beaudry, Comm '15, about the benefits of attending QBET and the challenge of always improving on the previous year’s conference.

“This year’s theme is called trailblazers, exploring new ventures is kind of our subtitle,” Beaudry said.


Beaudry said it often proves worthwhile to reach out to alumni to be potential keynote speakers at QBET.

From the Globe and Mail’s editor in chief, John Stackhouse, to the current chair of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), Karen Stintz, QBET tries to diversify the speakers each year while providing speakers from different industries that can attest to current and relevant issues concerning the business environment.

“So in November 2012, it was a big ticket item, I would say, in the industry… at that time because they [the Globe and Mail] were going through that process of going digital and making people subscribe. It was definitely a kind of very controversial issue to hear [Stackhouse] talk about,” Beaudry said.

Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, a sponsor from last year’s conference, desired an event designed around larger student interaction this year – one that the QBET planning team anticipates will “make a difference to students who participate,” said Beaudry.

This year will feature an insurance stimulation, where teams of delegates will be given the decision to take on mock roles and decide whether to insure certain properties.

“They’re going to have to go forward through time and see how those decisions play out,” Beaudry said.

QBET’s Merger Mystery event examines a real world set of issues around the oil and gas industry, including a focus on the TransCanada Keystone pipeline, signaling the ways in which business environment concerns extend an interrelationship of learning and application.

Through a series of rounds, delegates will stimulate the real world decision making of government and company officials.

QBET’s executives have been gearing up for the November conference for several months, and Beaudry said his involvement with the business conference since first year leaves him excited to finally see the execution of this year’s conference.

“It’s definitely a weekend of a life time and I’m really thankful I’ve been able to participate in it for so long,” he said.

For more information on QBET, please visit: http://www.qbet2013.com/

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