since 2005

The proof is in the pudding.


Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec is a new kind of experiential education where students are allowed the freedom, challenge and curiosity offered by playgrounds. They choose and participate in activities important to them, set their own priorities and see the result of their efforts and motivation. They also develop habits valued by employers – learning and operating effectively in teams, dealing with ambiguity, overcoming adversity and thriving in situations with limited resources and direction. In effect students change their traditionally held views of teaching and learning.



In 2005, Professor Mandeep Malik from McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business worked with a team of dedicated students to co-create Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec. The goal? To bridge the gap between classroom and industry. Now in its lucky 13th year, it is Canada’s largest for students by students marketing competition. Over this time, it has not only provided experiential learning to thousands of competitors across the nation, but it has served as the platform for countless high-achieving young marketers to launch their careers.

Bram Warshafsky

Named as one of the 2014 “Top 30 Under 30” by Marketing Magazine, Bram Warshafsky is the co-founder of 5Crowd, a Canadian startup that connects marketing departments with top freelance professionals in over 150 cities. 5Crowd is a trusted partner to clients like Labatt, Microsoft, Telus, and McDonald’s and the company was recently acquired by sgsco, a global leader in marketing production owned by ONEX. Bram is also a software developer and is currently leading a team at sgsco that is tackling intrapreneurial technology-based projects. Before taking the entrepreneurial leap, he held various roles within brand management and digital marketing at Johnson & Johnson.

Smith School of Business, Queen’s University

2010  Canada's Next Top Ad Exec Winner

Rachel Zimmer

Rachel Zimmer is a leader in the Toronto tech community, and she is incredibly passionate about accelerating entrepreneurship in the Canadian ecosystem. Currently, Rachel is the General Manager of Entrepreneur First - the world’s leading Talent Investor. EF brings together extraordinary people to build startups from scratch in London, Singapore, Berlin, Hong Kong, Paris, India, and as of September 2020 - Toronto!

Through its $140M fund, EF invests in individuals to find a world-class co-founder, develop an idea and fund the technology businesses they create. Rachel is leading the launch into Canada. Before EF, Rachel coached over 50 startups as an Entrepreneur In Residence at the Ryerson Incubator, the DMZ. Before coaching startups, she Co-Founded, scaled, and exited her own tech company - 5Crowd - in under three years. Interestingly, it all traces back to Top Ad. Rachel pressure tested her Co-Founder relationship via CNTAE, where she learned that she and her Co-Founder were a force to be reckoned with as a duo!

Smith School of Business, Queen’s University

2010  Top Ad Winner

Veronica Yeung

Veronica is a seasoned marketer and business strategist with nearly a decade of experience in consumer packaged goods at PepsiCo. She has a proven track record of building and growing billion-dollar food and beverage brands such as Lay's, Quaker, and Pure Leaf. Her favorite career moments include bringing Cheetos Flamin' Hot north of the border, architecting a massive launch into the Canadian Natural/Organic snacks arena, and leading the premiumization of the Iced Tea category in the US.

Over the years, she's built her marketing toolkit across a variety of disciplines, including brand management, new product development, shopper marketing, integrated marketing communications, and consumer insights. Outside of her day job, she loves to mentor students and job seekers to help them launch and thrive in their careers. She is also a huge dog lover and proud furmom to a jindo-mix rescue named Tonky.

As a Top Ad Exec competitor in 2012, Veronica landed an elusive interview with PepsiCo as a top 10 finalist, and eventually a marketing internship later that summer. The internship led to a full-time offer, and she's been at PepsiCo holding progressive positions in Toronto and New York ever since. She credits Top Ad Exec for quite literally kickstarting her career and delivering on its promise of "real-world wins"!


Rachel Zimmer
Smith School of Business, Queen’s University
2010 Top Ad Exec Finalist

Top Ad Exec was one of the most impactful experiences of my undergrad. I was able to test working with Bram, who later became my Co-Founder, and learned how strong a duo we were. I would highly recommend CNTAE to anyone that is considering a career in marketing or entrepreneurship!

Since the competition Mark has appeared on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, scoring a $120,000 investment for “Hangry”. One glance at Mark’s resume and you’ll quickly realize that this bright and talented individual does not accept the status quo – making him a fierce entrepreneur.

Ryan Moran
DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University
2012 Top Ad Winner

Since the competition Ryan became the Senior Manager of Marketing with the Niagara Parks Commission,
as well as the Vice-President of CoMotion Group.

Emily Liu
Queen's University
Top Ad Exec 2020 Runner Up

Top Ad Exec was one of the most fulfilling experiences within my undergrad!  I currently work in consulting, focusing on customer & marketing, enablement, and go-to-market strategy. The program has immensely impacted the beginning of career and taught me how to communicate with clients, craft creative and appealing presentations, prioritize customer research, and take a strategic approach towards each project!

Felisa Pador
University of Alberta
Top Ad ExecTop 10 2019

Top Ad was one of the most challenging but fulfilling experiences of my undergrad! It allowed me to hone my creativity and business skills outside of the classroom. The program opened up to many opportunities to meet new people in the industry and gave me the chance to intern at Microsoft which was an experience I’ll never forget! It completely changed the course of my marketing career.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What phase is CML in right now?
How many people are currently competing?
The 2020 season is closed. How do I compete for the next year of CML? 
What are competitors competing for? 
What is a Campus Account Manager and is it different from being a competitor? 
Who can I contact for additional information?