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MY STORY WITH GSCMI - chase hughes

(MBA Class 2016)

The experience of GSCMI 2013 case competition

Today's business environment is increasingly demanding and competitive as more students pursue degrees is business related fields, firms strive to become more efficient and resources increase in scarcity. For this reason, students must demand more of themselves and brace the challenges that we will inevitably face in the environment before they are actually reached. Like a good sportsman, our training must be diversified and not focused only around academia, but also practice, teamwork, leadership and all experiences preceding what we consider to be success.

For this philosophy, I sought to solve real world business issues in a team based and competitive environment. The global supply chain management organization at Purdue provided this opportunity, an area of business that I discovered effects small enterprises as much as large multi-nationals firms. Having not experienced a case competition before, I understood the disadvantage that I may experience against potentially more seasoned peers.

Fortunately, the GSCMI placed me with a team that was dedicated and versed with the industry, a vital aspect towards success in any project. Our team consisted of finance, operations, strategy and accounting. Having a diversified team is critical for creative abrasion and problem solving. We collaborated on reading the case and mapped out potential solutions with common since, academic knowledge and our business experiences.

The graduate students and faculty were helpful in giving us preliminary advice and being humble of our lack of experience was our greatest asset. They reminded us of the critical importance of deducing a solution from the facts and supporting the solution with business theory, financial and strategic modeling. Therefore, our team worked hard to gather facts, formulate a possible solution and then support our theory with contemporary models taught in our courses.

Our team made it to the semi-finalist round of the competition, however failed to take the grand prize as a more optimal solution was found. We learned that we must fully consider and explore all of the potential options and use more models to assess the viability of them. However, our reward was the experience of solving a real problem, formulating arguments backed with facts and professionally communicating them to decision makers.

The world is full of problems, fortunately the universe is structured enough to formulate solutions based around facts that can be used to make companies successful. Solving the right problems, for the right companies will help to achieve your endeavors, whatever they may be. For our team, experience is just one of many that we will inevitable face in our professional careers. The GSCMI case competition has provided the roots to a stronger future, that only experience paired with knowledge can provide.