Return to Newsroom

Masters Students Impress Executives at Information Technology Case Competition

J.D. Irving, Limited is pleased to announce the winners of the Direct Exchange Case Competition for Masters Students, for the first time in the area of Information Technology.

January 13, 2014, Halifax, NS:  Ninety MBA students from the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University competed in J.D. Irving, Limited’s Direct Exchange Case Competition.  The students tackled a real-life business IT situation at J.D. Irving, Limited and competed in teams to propose the best solution.  Past Direct Exchange Case Competitions have put the challenge to students in the fields of Business, Supply Chain, and Accounting.

Jason Penney, Rita Kumar, Mike Johnson 

After the students received the case data, they split into teams of three and had the opportunity to interact with JDI executives before submitting their recommendations.  The top seven teams made their final oral presentations to JDI executives on December 8, 2013.  Each of the solutions was judged based on the completeness of research and analysis, as well as suitability of the solution presented.

Rita Kumar, a member of the winning team, said the competition provided a great opportunity to apply classroom skills. “The J.D. Irving Direct Exchange competition offered the unique experience of leveraging our academic knowledge with a real-life IT issue.  Harmonizing these elements elevated my learning experience and provided a multidimensional opportunity to construct a robust solution to a complex problem,” said Kumar.

Doug MacAskill, Vice President of Information Technology, J.D. Irving, Limited; Jason Penney; Rita Kumar; Mike Johnson; Professor Dawn Jutla; Professor Louis Beaubien

Teammate Mike Johnson said the process and chance to add real value was rewarding.  "Being afforded this opportunity to work collaboratively with JDI in developing a solution to current issues affecting multiple industries was extremely rewarding, and a positive learning experience."
Professor Dawn Jutla teaches information systems and management science in the Department of Finance for Saint Mary’s Sobey School of Business.  Jutla was impressed with the support from JDI’s IT Division in giving students a real-life IT challenge.  "The partnership for the case competition with J.D. Irving presented our Sobey School graduate students with an unrivalled opportunity to learn and problem solve in the context of one of the most complex and sophisticated IT shared services environments in the world today,” she said.

“This has been the first Information Technology case competition in the J.D. Irving, Limited Direct Exchange Program,” said Doug MacAskill, Vice President of Information Technology at J.D. Irving, Limited.  “We are very pleased to partner with St. Mary’s University and the faculty of the Sobey School of Business to deliver an outstanding graduate-level case competition that involves solving real-business problems by a group of very talented people.”