A team of MBA students from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business placed second in the Deloitte Supply Chain Challenge hosted at Brigham Young University earlier this month.
Michelle Davis, one of the team members, said the tight deadline and competitive environment, as well as ambiguities in the scenario, presented a challenge.
“We received very little data and had to work on assumptions,” Davis said. “Everyone in our team comes from a different background, and so our teamwork was absolutely a strength. We studied and prepped together prior to the competition, and were able to delegate and move swiftly.”
Davis additionally benefited from participating in the Deloitte case competition because she will soon join the company’s strategy and operations group in Chicago as a summer associate.
The team, which in addition to Davis included Justin Matthews, Kate Kobza and Ryan Stover, won second among eight competitors who were challenged to act as consultants and guide a client in acquiring a hypothetical Brazilian company.
“The Haslam team focused on synergies between the companies, discussed benefits and risks, and outlined the costs and cultural considerations,” said Tara Presnell, an MBA program coordinator at Haslam. “They were thorough and supported their recommendations.”
Mary Holcomb, the Gerald T. Niedert Professor of Supply Chain Management at Haslam, served as the team’s faculty advisor.
“I was impressed with how well they knew their respective strengths and weaknesses,” Holcomb said. “They were great at managing their time and – even though they have not yet taken a formal supply chain management course – did a lot of preparation to ensure that knowledge about the supply chain was not a limiting factor. Preparation work gave the team a huge advantage over the other schools.”
Other teams participating in the case competition included: Penn State University, the University of South Carolina, Brigham Young University, the University of Wisconsin, Oklahoma State University, Purdue University and Georgia Tech.