By Marcus Whitman, Contributing Writer
Photo by Marcus Whitman/ The Towerlight
Students got to show their knowledge of business through case competitions for supply chain management and marketing intelligence all day Friday in Stephens.
Students were given case scenarios to study that were based off real world business plans written by the members of the judging panels.
The Marketing Intelligence panel consisted of Steve Rosenfeld, Director of Alumni Communication & Recognition, as well as marketing professors Philippe Duverger, Hua Chang, Sarah Magnotta, and Tony Stovall.
The Supply Chain Management panel was made up of Coushatta Cunningham, a Senior Demand Planner for Pandora, Americas at Pandora Demand Planners Jessica Smuck, Ana Carolina Boraschi and Lauren Rudolph.
Steve Gibson, a Logistics Manager at Bottcher America Corp, Lisa Flohr, an Operations Manager at Nexterus, INC, Annette Danek-Akey, a Senior Vice President in Supply Chain and Alyssa Oles, Vice President Fulfilment Operations and IT at Penguin Random House, were also in attendance.
Rosenfeld wrote the marketing intelligence case scenario, and three teams of students had to create a marketing strategy for how they would get alumni to join the social network Towson University Tiger Connect.
Rosenfeld said some judges, including himself, were expecting the contestants to use the knowledge and understanding of social media and networking sites to solve the real-world problems.
“I was looking for creativity, and outside the box thinking, and what all is a common problem,” said Rosenfeld.
Cunningham explained that Tobin Porterfield, Chair of the EBTM department, gave her and the other judges a grading sheet with contestant evaluation criteria. Judges were looking for components such as preparedness, explanation, teamwork and material comprehension.
“Another thing is what is the extra steps the teams are taking to stand and show they understand the material,” Cunningham said. “Example from last year, I was on the judge’s panel then as well as, and for the supply chain the topic was the holiday gift sets and two of the teams took the time and went to a store in mall to look at it in person, as well as take pictures, measurements and even asked the store questions and included it in their presentation.”
Students on the supply chain management side were also partnered with Towson Alumni, who acted as mentors for the teams.
One such alumni was Marcus Wiles, class of 2015, who found the students’ intelligence fascinating.
“A lot of times when we are in the industry, we like to think we have all the answers,” Wiles said. “So it really fascinates to see how creative the students are, and intelligent and smart they are. As well as how they come up with these solutions.”
Wiles also expressed interest in continuing the peer mentor relationship with the students, as well as expressing that students could also teach him new things as well.
Daniel Andrews, an accounting major who participated in the Supply Chain Management side, was part of team Lifo and felt that competing might open doors for him.
“ I felt it would [be] interesting to have a practical application of everything I have so far,” Andrews said. “As well having something to add to my resume, and get to meet and speak with individuals from the professional world, as well as learn from professionals at Pandora.”