Four students from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business placed first at the APICS Heartland District Student Case Competition in Des Moines, Iowa, March 24-25. Involved with the Department of Supply Chain Management and Analytics at Nebraska, the students earned a ticket to the APICS Global Final Case Competition in October with the win.
The team included junior supply chain management majors Neal Winter from Norfolk, Nebraska; Ashley Blunk from Papillion, Nebraska; Brendan Milnamow from Wheaton, Illinois; and first-year MBA student Joel Nino Bugayong from Atchison, Kansas. Receiving the details of the case Friday evening which included both a written report and oral presentation, the task involved assisting a company called Airbus with their supply chain management software needs. The team collaborated to decide whether the company should improve their current software program or outsource needs to another company. They presented recommendations to the judges the next day.
“Our team was very dedicated to the task assigned and took emphasis on thoroughly understanding the case article and knowing the main problem that needed to be solved. We meticulously proofread our work and practiced our presentation, considering we only had eight minutes to make our case to the judges,” Bugayong said.
Dr. Scott Swenseth, associate professor of supply chain management and analytics, attended the competition and commended the team’s approach to solving each aspect of the case without the ability to prepare beforehand. He explained attending events like case competitions demonstrate student skill level when applying class knowledge to realistic scenarios.
“The students had a limited amount of time to zero-in on a solution for the scenario. There were many good solutions, reports and presentations but this team stood out because they excelled in all three areas,” Swenseth said. “We know we have graduates with good knowledge and skills, but students don’t always understand how they match up with peers from other universities. Accomplishments like this shows they have comparable backgrounds and students can gain confidence for future success.”
With more than 43,000 members worldwide, APICS serves as the premier professional association for supply chain and operations management. Located in San Antonio, Texas, the APICS Global Final Case Competition will feature teams from each continent. Blunk looks forward to not only getting to participate in another competition, but networking with peers from all over the world.
“This will provide an opportunity to expand my field experience and form connections with colleagues and professionals in supply chain management. When you present your final solutions at competitions such as these, you are in front of industry professionals who are looking for college-aged talent which will be exciting to experience at such a high level,” Blunk said.
Bugayong values the chance to represent Nebraska on a global level. He also credited the networking opportunities he experienced during the weekend.
“I talked to company representatives who attended the event. Winning the competition certainly gave us a boost in our career goals and tangibly demonstrated our qualities that recruiters find attractive,” Bugayong said.
To learn more about the Department of Supply Chain Management and Analytics at Nebraska, visit: business.unl.edu/supplychain