Antigonish, NS: The Operations Management class at St. Francis Xavier University joined the over 3,800 students in Atlantic Canada who have competed in JDI Case Competitions over the past 8 years. Students are given a real business problem and work in groups to present recommendations and solutions to JDI executives and recruiters.
Winning team member Gregor Stabenow says the value of the case competition is not only in preparing for the case, but also in being put on the spot in front of JDI executives. “It’s certainly advantageous for students to have executives and recruiters here. It puts you on a more personal level with them. You get to meet them face to face.”
Nick Curthers, another member of the winning team describes the experience as exciting and beneficial.
“It’s a very cool opportunity. It’s fulfilling,” said Curthers. “You get to go in front of some high-level business people and hear their feedback. With an audience beyond your professor and classmates, and prize money on the line, it certainly ups the ante over typical class projects."
Professor Todd Boyle of the St. FX Business Department says a benefit of case competitions is challenging students with an Atlantic Canada business problem.
“Having JDI develop a case has been extremely valuable for our students. A lot of textbooks do not consider Atlantic Canadian issues,” said Boyle. “Locally developed cases allow students to consider the global, regional, and local factors impacting success of businesses in this area. A case like this affords students the opportunity to better imagine their role in Atlantic Canadian business. That’s critical for us because it helps keep students in the region upon graduation.”
The competition is not only a great experiential learning opportunity for students; it’s also a chance for students to network with recruiters and executives. St. FX alumni and former case competition participant Jane McTague says that being a part of the case competition gave her an advantage when applying for a role with the supply chain team at JDI.
“When a supply chain opportunity came up, I was hired because of my direct exchange case competition experience,” McTague said. “Being a confident speaker is a valuable asset in business. Your research and analysis are very important, but how you present that information and build trust with senior colleagues is huge.”
This year McTague was one of the judges at the St. FX case competition. Four teams of business students presented their analysis and recommendations. After deliberation, the judges chose the winning team of the competition’s grand prize money.
|Winning team presented with cash prize.
L-R: Gregor Stabenow, Student; Nick Curthers, Student; Steven McNeil, Student; Jane McTague, Contract Buyer for JDI; Jim Jordan, VP of Supply Chain for JDI; Professor Todd Boyle
Over the past eight years, JDI has sponsored IT, Finance, Supply Chain, and Marketing case competitions at eight universities across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Over 60 St. FX alumni are currently part of the team at the J.D. Irving group of companies and we look forward to welcoming more. Between 2016 and 2018 we're forecasting hiring almost 7,900 people including business, accounting, and engineering professionals across our operations. Students can take advantage of the over 2,000 paid student, co-op, and internship positions forecasted 2016-2018.
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