Monday, February 27, 2012

Ryan Bender is doing rather well these days, even though his serious hockey playing days are behind  him.
Bender, a 25-year-old from Regina, played five seasons (2003-08) in the WHL, starting with the Kamloops Blazers (240 games) and finishing with the Regina Pats (30 games).
These days, he is in his fourth year at the U of Regina where he is in the business faculty majoring in marketing.
After leaving the WHL, he played for three seasons with the U of R Cougars but didn’t return for a fourth. Instead, he is playing for a senior team in Milestone, a farming community just south of Regina.
He also is taking part in The Interview, a Regina-based reality webinar that, he says, is “very similar to The Apprentice,” only presumably without Donald Trump’s hair.

(Photo from The Interview Season 2)
According to its website, The Interview Season 2 is a “business reality show (and) web broadcast event that entertained and inspired Saskatchewan for 10 weeks in Season 1. The Interview is a contest created to showcase the best of Saskatchewan business in a unique way.
"Rock Bridge Realty, in collaboration with some of Regina's top businesses, is looking to give one talented individual the career opportunity of a lifetime. But they are going to have to work for it."
When this season's show was being cobbled together, there were more than 100 applicants. That was cut down to 20 for a weekend of preparation.
After a weekend of, as Bender puts it, "listening to different successful business people around Regina” address them on such subjects as networking, business thinking, effective social media and business strategy," the field was trimmed to 10.
Which is when things got really interesting as challenges were put in front of all 10, who have spent the last five or six weeks working at various tasks.
They marketed and sold Blizzards at Dairy Queen outlets. They sold pink anti-bullying t-shirts. “I’ve pretty much done it all,” Bender says.
All told, Bender has met five challenges, with participants judged on money raised and who won. (It should be noted that all money raised goes to the Red Cross’s Imagine . . . No Bullies campaign.)
During The Interview, viewers are able to follow along on the website. Not only that, they are able to vote, as the website notes, “for the contestant they feel competed with the most passion and business savvy. Internet voting begins immediately following the show each week.”
Two people were trimmed following the completion of each challenge.
After the latest challenge, the cuts were made and Bender found himself as one of the two remaining participants.
Up for grabs is a package worth more than $100,000, that includes a $50,000 contract with Rock Bridge Realty where Brooks Finlay, a former defensive lineman with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders, is the lead agent and broker/owner. That deal includes education, training and licensing needed to become a real estate agent.
The winner also will receive a one-year lease on a Cadillac vehicle, a professional photo shoot, a marketing package that includes an advertising package from The Wolf 104.9, a Regina radio station, and a business wardrobe.
The big thing, though, is the opportunity to get a foot into real estate’s door.
Besides going to school, Bender also owns and manages a four-plex in Regina. He also has a single family home with a basement suite and says he is “in the early stages of a construction project” that involves another four-plex.
If you are interested, you are able to check it all out, make a donation and vote right here.


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