Supply Chain Association Takes a Top Spot in National Case Competition

May 3, 2021

"It was, by far, the most meaningful experience of my college career."

Last month, four student members of the College of Business's (COB) Supply Chain Association participated virtually in the eighth annual National Undergraduate Supply Chain Case Competition at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. Students had 24 hours to analyze a supply-chain problem for a fictitious company that makes satellites, then design and present a solution to a panel of business professionals. The competition brought together sixteen teams, many of which were from the top country's top undergraduate programs in supply chain and operations management. The COB team took third place, making them the highest-placing team from the University of Michigan-Dearborn to date.

The team included Helen Consiglio (BBA in Supply Chain Management and Human Resources Management), Elizabeth Quinn (BBA in Supply Chain Management), Seth Gremban (BSE in Industrial and Systems Engineering), and Leah Beach (BBA in Supply Chain Management). The four members were selected to represent the University after winning a supply-chain case competition within the College of Business earlier this year. 

“I am amazed at how transformational the annual Supply Chain Management Case Competition is,” explained Gerald Holowicki, former lecturer of Supply Chain Management and Information Systems Management, who helped the team prepare for the event together with Young Ro, professor of Operations Management. “The competition forces students to integrate learning from a variety of fields, such as supply chain management, marketing, finance, human resources, industrial engineering, and strategy. The results are nothing short of phenomenal as students learn how to analyze a business problem, apply what they have learned from all of their coursework, and convince industry leaders that they have designed the best solution. I cannot think of better preparation for starting a career."

Student Reactions and Takeaways

“I am very grateful to have been part of the Supply Chain Case Competition team this year! I have learned a great deal about supply chain management, and it has been rewarding to apply what I have learned from my Operations Management courses to a real-life problem. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to work so closely with Professor Ro, Professor Holowicki, and the corporate sponsors. Being on the team was, by far, the most rewarding experience of my college career, and I could not have asked for a better team." – Helen Consiglio (BBA in Supply Chain Management and Human Resources Management)

"This was truly a life-changing experience. My advice to other students who have an opportunity to participate in a similar experience is this:  take advantage of it!" –  Elizabeth Quinn (BBA in Supply Chain Management)

“This competition was the best experience I have had in college. The team and I were tested to the limit, and we were successful. I learned many valuable lessons in a short amount of time; there is no better experience to prepare for the 'real world.'" – Seth Gremban (BSE in Industrial and Systems Engineering)

“More than anything else, I am proud of myself simply because I tried. I had been nervous to participate in anything like this before, and because of that, I waited until my final year of college to get involved in student competitions. I am glad I joined the American Marketing Association last semester, and this semester I was ecstatic to have joined the Supply Chain Association, only to be chosen to represent the national team! My advice to other students is not to wait to step out of your 'comfort zone.' We are each much more capable than we think.” – Leah Beach (BBA in Supply Chain Management)

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