A team of students from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology took home the top prize in province-wide marketing competition. The NAIT team, which included Matt Bell, Hans Kristian Larsen and Sandra Spencer, was given $5,000 for their efforts.

The aim of the program was to encourage marketing strategies for the Recruiting Alberta Police initiative.

“This was a peer-to-peer initiative as we were recruiting other students to consider applying their current skills in a policing situation,” explains Bell, a second-year business marketing student. “For example, the public mostly thinks of policing when they see a patrol officer, but there are more than 100 other job opportunities within local police departments that require specialized training, (which) students are learning at post-secondary schools in the province.”

The shortage of policing personnel in the province is crucial, partly because of every five applicants, only one qualifies and is hired. “In Alberta alone this year, over 6,000 applicants are going to be needed to fill the necessary positions,” Bell said.

NAIT was one of six institutions that entered the competition, with second and third place going to Grant MacEwan College and SAIT.

Bell feels NAIT’s proposal was successful because the team was made up of volunteers. “(That) allowed us to get away from the theory of the classroom and think outside of the usual parameters,” he said.

“It was a great project that combined the knowledge of the classroom with a realistic situation in the community,” said Perri Steuber, associate chair of the accounting program at NAIT’s JR Shaw school of business.

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