Our Finalists

Who will win Global Student Challenge 2020?

DGC Toronto

George Brown College

The Team
It takes a special team to rise up to unprecedented challenges. However, Jonathan Isenegger, Philip Jager, Kristopher Turnbull-Poulin, and Maxim Sokolicz—all final-year students in the Honours Bachelor of Technology (Construction Management) at George Brown College—have exactly what it takes.

The Canadian finalists in the 2020 CIOB Global Student Challenge are quick to point out the positives. “Juggling work, our final year of school, the CIOB Challenge, the Toronto Construction Association Bid Competition, and our own lives this semester has been extremely rewarding,” says Jonathan through a tired smile.

Now they also have a global pandemic on their minds, but it has not slowed them down. Their perfect combination of skills and work styles has propelled them to 2nd overall in the GSC qualifying rounds. Phil takes the lead on initiatives and building relationships, Max and Jonathan are wizard data crunchers, and Kris has been great at bringing in jobs. All four of them possess substantial experience with leading Canadian construction companies and an uncanny level of maturity. They are grateful for pep talks from Andrew Gordon, FCIOB, and Nicholas Lourenco, winners of the 2018 GSC.

Why Enter the Global Student Challenge?
The spark was lit in Dr. Elmira NezamiFar’s Construction Business Management & Entrepreneurship course, which hosts an internal competition based on the Global Student Challenge MERIT software. As Jonathan puts it, Dr. NezamiFar’s class “ignited my passion and I haven’t been able to put the flame out since. I will take the lessons I have learned about business, managing assets and labour, and thinking from the perspective of an executive with me in the rest of my career as well as my life.”

The team agrees. For Kris, the draw was “running a company as a whole rather than just a single project,” and for Max the opportunity to perfect his estimating skills for his future work in the industry. Always looking at the big picture, Phil wants to see George Brown continue to enter teams in the CIOB Global Student Challenge, “I hope this tradition can carry on for years to come.”

It is a pity that these four great students can’t go to Australia, as originally planned, but in tutor Andrew Gordon’s words, “they are on the global stage now where they belong.”

Blago Blagoev, Angelo DelZotto School of Construction Management, George Brown College