Skip to main content

ACE Triumph: Nishan Athwal's First-Year Feat in Business

Close up of two medals that say, "ACE Canada National Competition"

Currently in his first year in the Bachelor of Business Administration program at the University of Guelph-Humber, Nishan Athwal has proven that age and experience are no barriers to success. At last month’s National ACE Canada competition in Toronto, Athwal not only held his ground but excelled, securing a notable position in the top 5 in two challenging Travel Management case competitions and clinching a pair of prestigious medals. ACE (which stands for Achieve, Connect, Empower) is not just an ordinary competition - it's a platform where undergraduate students like Athwal engage in intense business simulations, honing their skills for future corporate challenges while making lasting connections with peers from across the country. 

Fun fact: Guelph-Humber has a long history of bringing home the hardware from ACE, formerly known as DECA (read more here).

In an Instagram post, the ACE University of Guelph-Humber chapter shared, “An enormous standing ovation to [Nishan Athwal]…! [We’re] so incredibly proud of your accomplishments and for all the growth you’ve shown this entire season,” proving that teamwork and camaraderie are a big part of the ACE experience.

We sat down with Athwal for a quick Q&A about his journey and how competitions like ACE are helping to shape the next generation of Canada’s business leaders.

Nishan Athwal looking off-camera, smiling, while wearing two medals

Why did you choose the Business Studies program at Guelph-Humber?
“I applied for the business program at GH because I've had a passion for going into business since when I was in grade 7 and always loved concepts like accounting, marketing, et cetera. I find business really interesting, to not only learn [about it], but to also invest my time into it.” 

What is it like being a member of the ACE University of Guelph-Humber chapter?
“Being a member of the GH Chapter of ACE is an amazing experience, fostering personal growth and providing valuable opportunities for collaboration and learning. This chapter consists of a group of talented and caring individuals forming this society into a family.”

What was the ACE competition in Toronto like? 
“The most recent competition was ACE Canada Nationals where universities all over Canada came to downtown Toronto to compete. To be honest, I was pretty nervous because it was me vs. the rest of [the Canadian competitors] but it was a really fun experience, not only [for the] competition but for learning and team-bonding.”

After training and preparing for this competition with your fellow ACE members, what did it feel like to win those two incredible medals you’re wearing?
“Winning [two] medals is of course a great feeling! The medals represented the fact that I came top 5 in both of my [Travel Management] cases. The night before the competition, I stayed up until 3am to get more preparation and it was definitely worth it.”

How has ACE impacted your future goals?
“ACE [has] positively impacted my future goals because this club allows me to get the experience of the real world. This club gives students the opportunity to gain experience in order to [one day] thrive in the workforce.”

What’s next for you?
“For ACE, my next plans are to develop more skills and get ready to dominate Nationals in 2025!”


Group photo of the members of ACE University of Guelph-Humber chapter in front of marquee signs spelling out ACE and a marquee sign of a maple leaf
ACE University of Guelph-Humber chapter at 2024 ACE Canada National Competition