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Commerce students get real‑world experience in JD Irving case competitions

Posted by Nicole Maunsell on May 3, 2018 in News

In March 2018, several third and fourth year commerce students had the opportunity to compete in a series of case competitions sponsored by JD Irving, Limited. Students present to a panel of judges from the company, vying for a share of the $8,800 purse.

On March 27, 80 students on 20 teams from Dan Lynch's logistics classes competed for the top prize for logistics of $1,000, with the second and third place teams receiving $600 and $300.

Winners of the Logistics competition with Dan Lynch and Irving representatives

"I believe very strongly in experiential learning," says Dr. Lynch. "Working with the JD Irving Company, which provides a new case and challenge every year to the logistics students, builds their research skills, knowledge and confidence, and helps prepare them for their future careers.”

"It's an amazing opportunity to apply classroom theory to a real-world situation,” says logistics competitor Anthony Misiewicz. Cameron Illingworth, another logistics student, adds: "the panel of JD Irving executives provided valuable feedback afterwards, teaching me of the importance of multi-perspective analyses."

On March 29, four accounting teams from Jenny Zhang's class competed for the top prize for accounting of $2,500.

Pictured right: Competitors in the Accounting competition
with Jenny Zhang and Irving representatives

"I feel it is my responsibility to equip my students for real-world complexity," says Dr. Zhang. "The JD Irving case study always takes our students through that mental practice and provides them the opportunity to place themselves in the world of challenges they will soon be facing after graduation. It's a great learning experience, and a great opportunity for the business community to see the high-quality students coming out of our commerce program."

Students in the production and operations management classes taught by Professors H.I. Gassmann and M. Ali Ülkü competed in the Supply Chain Operations challenge, with a prize of $2,500. Fifty-one teams submitted written solutions for a case centred on a procurement issue. The four best teams did a live presentation in front of a panel comprising the two professors and representatives from Irving’s shipbuilding division—Nick Wright, VP Supply Chain, Jonathan Bienko, case writer and Senior Procurement Officer, and Mahmoud Arhani, Junior Procurement Officer.

“The students liked the real-life application, which allowed them to apply their classroom learning, and they appreciated the opportunity to present in front of an expert audience,” says Ülkü.

Finalists for the Supply Chain Operations challenge with Ali Ulku, Gus Gassmann and Irving representatives

JD Irving has a strong connection to Rowe School students, employing several Rowe alumni and co-op students. The case competition allows the company to gain information and recommendations from a fresh perspective. The competitions also give students the opportunity to pursue networking, internship and full-time job opportunities.


Logistics, Section 1

  • 1st: Kaelyn Lupyrypa, Wen Sun and Khalil Francis
  • 2nd: Josh Troch, Erika Cole, Kun Xue and Brendan McMunn
  • 3rd: Bianca Canade, Paul Chabert, Jacqueline Archibald and Jinnan Zhao

Logistics, Section 2

  • 1st: Lisa Sullivan, James Johnston, Kirsten Smith and Anthony Misiewicz
  • 2nd: Robert Madronic, Zitong Geng, Corey Paddon and Riley Timmins
  • 3rd: Wenqing Xu, Meghan Paul, Brett Estabrooks and Chris Hogarth


  • 1st:  Jasmine Bethel, Yanze Kong, Doris Liu, Tianyu Hang and Congyi Xu

Supply Chain Operations

  • 1st: Sara Gilchrist, Paige McVittie, Erin Peterson, Christian Thomas and Tiana Vuckovic