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Real Business, Real Learning, Real Growth at Acadia University

J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI) has partnered with Acadia University to give students an opportunity to solve a real-life business case. Over the past seven years, JDI has sponsored IT, Finance and Supply Chain case study competitions. Our eight university partners include: Acadia University, Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, Université de Moncton, Mount Allison University, Saint Francis Xavier University, University of New Brunswick, both Fredericton and Saint John Campuses. To date, 3800 talented students have participated.

At the Direct Exchange Case Competition, teams of students are presented with a real-life scenario at JDI, including the relevant data and conditions that a JDI manager was facing at the time.  After research and analysis, the teams each suggest a solution, complete with the logic to support their decision.  On March 20th, individual team solutions were judged based on content completeness, presentation skills, and responses to specific questions posed by the judges. 

Photo of winning team (Left to Right): Stephanie Hutt (student), Dustin Wilson (student), Andrew Healy (Contract Buyer, JDI), Laura Fair (student), Jim Jordan (VP Supply Chain JDI)

Acadia’s winning team of Stephanie Hutt, Dustin Wilson, and Laura Fair was presented with a cash prize.

“The case competition provides an opportunity to apply the principles and analytical techniques of supply chain management,” said Paul Callaghan, Professor at Acadia University. “It provides students with the experience of documenting and presenting their findings to senior executives.”

In the end, the students appreciated the opportunity to present to the JDI executives who were involved in the actual case. “I really liked the real-life scenario, having to think about this case and actually taking the information and applying it to a real world decision,” said Acadia student, Stephanie Hutt, member of the winning team. 

The Direct Exchange Case Competition is a terrific learning tool, as it gives students an experience they don't get in class. “I valued working hard with my classmates and putting all of our different talents together to make the presentation a success,” said Laura Fair, another member of the winning team. 
“The J.D. Irving Direct Exchange case competition is an excellent learning opportunity for our students,” said Paul Callaghan, Professor at Acadia University. “JDI provides access to the facts of a real, substantive decision scenario for our students to grapple with is valuable and much appreciated.”

JDI Contract Buyer and Acadia Alumni Andrew Healy says the Direct Exchange Case Competition provides students with a chance to apply the skills they have developed in the classroom to a real-world situation and experience a different style of learning. “As an Acadia graduate and former participant in the Direct Exchange, it is very exciting for me to have an opportunity to be involved with the F.C. Manning School of Business and return back to the University,” Healy said. 

“It is great to have the opportunity to partner with the best and we look forward to continuing the Direct Exchange program with Acadia next year,” says Jim Jordan, Vice President, Supply Chain, J.D. Irving, Limited. “The quality of the presentations this year was truly outstanding, the Acadia students have definitely raised the bar! Many thanks to Professors Paul Callaghan, Cindy Trudel and Yinglei Wang for their guidance and support.”