On March 21st, the SCMA in conjunction with Chevron hosted the 4th Annual SCMA Case Competition. The case was distributed to about 36 participants, divided into 9 teams, two days prior on March 19th. Then the teams worked diligently over the next 40 hours to develop a 15 minute presentation outlining their recommendation.

In the early afternoon on March 21st, the initial presentation rounds began. Each team presented their recommendation to a small panel of 2 – 3 judges. The judging panel included representatives from Chevron and Smeal’s faculty. After the formal presentation, the judges were given 5 minutes to ask any questions.

After all of the teams presented, the top 3 teams were selected to present again in the final round. Then after the final round, the judges entered one last deliberation to determine the placement of the top 3 teams. Finally, the placement of the top 3 teams was announced and a case debrief followed. Participants were then given an opportunity to network with the Chevron representatives.

The SCMA would like to thank Chevron for their sponsorship of this case competition and look forward to continuing our partnership in the future.


1st Place:

Farm Chanduayvit

Miguel Iturralde

Nancy Nie

Darius Yuwono






2nd Place:

David DeFelice

Carolina Herrera

Tatiana Kuzmenko

Majaz Mohammed






3rd Place:

Mike Bassani

Ipsa Mohanty

Linh Peters

Brian Plowman




-Angela Shershin, Penn State Smeal MBA ’14

On April 11th 2014, a Smeal MBA team consisting of Ankit Mahajan, Iqbal Aasim, Volha Taberka and Anika Zaman headed to McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University to take part in the Georgetown University Technology Case Competition 2014.

The case challenged us to craft a strategy for a DC based firm providing MOOCs in the online education industry. We received the case a few days prior, and immediately dove into researching online education to gain an understanding of the industry and the offerings of different competitors. By the 11th, we had put together a strategy recommending customized value offerings that the firm in question should offer, and a strong implementation plan. As we drove into DC, putting the finishing touches to our slide deck, we were welcomed by rows of beautiful magnolias and cherry blossoms in full bloom! As the girls were anxious to get down from the car to take pictures, Iqbal drove around campus for 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot.

Once we reached the business school and did a couple of trial runs, we went into the presentation room and presented our case in front of the judges. After braving a number of tough questions, we received positive remarks from the panel who really liked our strategy. Finally, the result was announced and to our joy, we finished second. We spend the next few hours networking and making friends with the McDonough School of Business students before heading back to happy valley. And yes, the girls succeeded in convincing the boys to take some group photos under the magnolia trees and cherry blossoms.

Overall, it was a great experience for us. Thanks to the McDonough School of Business for organizing this event and to our wonderful Smeal MBA Program Office for the never-ending support. The two first year participants learned a lot from the two seasoned second years. As a team, we had the opportunity to exercise our problem solving skills, make some great new friends, and add yet another success story to Smeal’s legacy of acing case competitions.


- Anika Zaman, Penn State Smeal MBA Class of 2015

photo 1 (10) photo 3 (2) cherry blossoms

Congratulations to the 2014 MBA Faculty Award Winners:

Core Classes:

  • Most Interesting – Sajay Samuel
  • Best Stories – Keith Crocker
  • Best Discussion – Vilmos Misangyi
  • Most Memorable – Dan Givoly
  • Best Life Lessons – Dennis Gioia
  • Best Teaching – Chris Muscarella


Elective Classes:

  • Most Interesting – Donald Hambrick
  • Best Stories - Chris Muscarella
  • Best Discussion - Vilmos Misangyi
  • Most Memorable – Ralph Oliva
  • Best Life Lessons - Lou Gattis
  • Best Teaching - David Huff


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Numerous events happen throughout the year at Smeal. The South Africa global immersion trip was one of the most unforgettable trips I have made in my life, and the best event formulated by Smeal. About twenty 1st year MBA students went to South Africa to attend company visits, explore the rich culture and daily living, and interact with South African people that came from different backgrounds and walks of life. We met with executives from EY, Coca Cola, ESKOM (largest power utility company in Africa), entrepreneurs, etc. We also had a chance to meet business students from Gordon Institute of Business (GIBS). We visited a national park, Apartheid museum, learned about Nelson Mandela in a very emotional tone from the organizers, and also learned about Soweto. The trip changed my outlook of Africa in a very positive way, and it made me more confident about the rise of Africa. As an African, the trip has amplified my passion to return back home and contribute to the continent’s economic growth in the field I am studying. I also got to know my classmates more closely and created memorable times. We usually don’t have ample time and/or energy to discuss things outside school matter, and this trip was perfect in changing that. The overall experience was very positive because I got the chance to spend one splendid week with my fellow classmates while learning about a powerhouse country in the African continent.    

-Nahom Woldemariam, Penn State Smeal MBA ’15

South Africa Group


The tradition lives on!!  MBA students from Penn State again participated in the Duke MBA Games, which raises money and awareness for the Special Olympics of North Carolina (SONC).  Since 1989, teams from top business schools have enjoyed a weekend of friendly competition while positively influencing the lives of adult athletes, spending time with and encouraging them during athletic activities.

During the past 26 years, the event has raised over $2.2 million for SONC!  In 2014, the Penn State team fundraised over $2.5K.

It was an action-packed weekend.  On April 10, there was a social mixer where we could meet the teams we would be competing against during the weekend.  The schools included: Carnegie Mellon, Maryland, Duke, Rice, Babson, UPenn, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt.

On April 11, our team participated in the optional events (Golf outing, Hash Run) as a warm-up to the actual events.  Later that night, there was an opening ceremony to officially welcome us to the Games.  Each team also performed a choreographed dance routine.  Thanks to the direction of 2nd year MBA, Deramus Griffin, Penn State came in 4th place!

On April 12, the real fun began.  We were able to greet our Special Olympic athletes, Kristin and “Birdman.”  We were lucky to have them on our team for the 2nd consecutive year in a row.  For those going next year, watch out for these two: Kristin is the ultimate prankster, while Birdman loves to put on a performance!

Throughout the day, we competed in many fun events, such as tug of war, business suit relay, briefcase toss, dizzy bat race, soccer relay, bean bag toss, and knockout.  Penn State won the soccer relay thanks to a team comprised of Javier Bathen, Mike Bassani and Ray Banks!

After the fun-filled day, we were able to mingle and relax at a pool party before the Closing Ceremony.  During the Closing Ceremony, we were shown a video that highlighted the funniest events of the day.  We were also able to hear directly from the Special Olympians about how much fun they had with their respective teams.  Later that night, we all celebrated at the White Party sponsored by the Duke MBA Latin American Student Association.

On April 13, we were able to say our goodbyes and prepare ourselves for the 8-hour road trip back to State College just in time for class on Monday.  Remember, we’re still conscientious MBA students after all!

For more information about Duke MBA Games, please visit their website at http://sites.duke.edu/mbagames/weekend/

-Anthony Cheng, Penn State Smeal MBA ‘14


On April 1st, the SCMA celebrated the transition of the Executive Board with an ice cream social!  Here, SCMA members were able to network with the new board and each other while enjoying three different and equally delicious ice cream flavors from the Creamery.


The 2014-2015 SCMA Officers are:

President: Carolina Herrera

VP Corporate Relations: Tatiana Kuzmenko

VP Finance: Majaz Mohammed

VP Marketing: Brijesh Kundu

VP Communication: Neha Bajera


Congratulations to the new SCMA Board!  From the 2013-2014 SCMA Board, we wish you luck in your future endeavors!

-Angela Shershin, Penn State Smeal MBA ‘14

One of the main reasons for which people want their MBA is to raise their salary by either: changing careers, changing companies, getting a better position or working globally. The biggest question is how? How can a MBA program differentiate you from other master programs?  To me, “putting theories into practice” is one of those differentiating factors.  In fact, with four years of experience and a master of Industrial Engineering, I wanted a program that would help me put theories I’ve learned and all the four years of experiences I’ve gained into practical business problems.  Here at the Penn State Smeal MBA Program, most of the classes are based on real cases. You read the case, do the analysis and make decisions as if you were the manager or the CEO of that specific company. Then, even more interesting is listening to a professor with dozens of years of experience in industry describing the case for you and sometimes hearing brilliant ideas from your classmates.

After a while you realize that these cases might not exactly be the ones you’re looking for as “real world problems”. Typically a case consists of all the necessary information needed to analyze the problem, for example, information about the market and competitors, company’s financials and future plans. But how can you gather all the information needed when dealing a complicated business situation? In fact, finding and putting together the right information is one of the main problems you can face in complicated business situations. I looked for the solution and I found the answer in “Case Competitions,” in which they give you the problem which might be even less than a page.  Then you have 24 hours and a huge amount of data to review to come up with a good idea and supporting information. This is a situation you may experience in competitive global business situations.  As a Penn State Smeal MBA candidate you have the opportunity to attend case competitions that focus on many different functional business areas.   You will be working as part of a team, and competing with other teams from top tier business schools.

Another practical experience is your final project called the Applied Professional Experience (APEX), in which you have a chance to work with a company and help improve a system or solve a problem. Working in an APEX project may also help you improve your project management skills or obtain your six-sigma black belt if you are interested in those areas.

The Penn State Smeal MBA program is a demanding program that gives you many opportunities, like the few just mentioned.  It is up to you to figure out how to take advantage of those opportunities, depending on your goals. The Penn State Smeal MBA program is a great opportunity to experience necessary challenges and gain knowledge that meets your needs as you pursue a better professional career.

-Masoud Ghayoumi, Penn State Smeal MBA ’14

On Valentine’s Day, approximately 20 SCMA members, divided into 10 teams, delayed any date plans to try their luck with SAP during SCMA’s 4th Annual SAP Competition.

Paul Winkler of Penn State’s Applied Research Lab provided guidance through this SAP simulation and game.  First, Paul explained the fundamentals and importance of SAP in modern supply chains.  Then Paul walked us through how to read the various screens and reports which would proved to be crucial during the competition.  Finally, Paul kicked off the competition between the 10 teams.  This competition consisted of three rounds where each team of two had to make quick decisions regarding pricing, reorder point and marketing budget for six different flavors of bottled water in three different markets.  After each round, Paul facilitated a short debrief on what happened in each round and what the top teams were doing differently from the bottom teams.  At the end of the three rounds, the top three teams were awarded cash prizes and everyone was treated to Chipotle.

Overall, the 4th Annual SAP Competition proved to be fun and informative.  The SCMA looks forward to hosting this event again next year!

-Angela Shershin, Penn State Smeal MBA ‘14


During the last week in January, the Spring career fair season for Smeal MBAs officially started with the Supply Chain Career Fair.  On January 31st, members of the MBA Supply Chain Association had the opportunity to attend a mixer with several representatives from companies in town for the Supply Chain Career Fair.  Some of the companies represented included: Office Depot, Williams-Sonoma, Intel and Linde.

This mixer proved to be a valuable networking opportunity for the MBA students.  By having more face time with recruiters in a causal environment, this enabled the MBA students to differentiate themselves and stand out the next day at the career fair.  Plus, this provided the company representatives time to relax and have fun during their stay in State College.

Overall, the event was a great experience for both the MBA students and company representatives.  The SCMA, in partnership with the MBAA, look forward to hosting this event during future Supply Chain Career Fairs.

-Angela Shershin, Penn State Smeal MBA ‘14


Diwali is undoubtedly the biggest and brightest of all Indian festivals. It is a festival of lights, and celebration of life and goodness. Smeal celebrated Diwali in a big way last year. It was a pleasure for me to be part of the organizing committee and also to participate in several events that were organized that day. The events consisted of dance, music, scrumptious Indian food, fashion show and the sari tying contest. I was elated to see how people from different countries with diverse backgrounds and cultures all came together to celebrate the festival. My colleagues from the US, Russia, Nigeria and China were not only eager and excited to learn the various Indian dance forms, but they also polished the dance postures. They were enthusiastic to wear the traditional Indian clothes. It was incredible to watch them dance cheerfully on Bollywood songs relish the Indian food and wear traditional Indian outfits. My colleagues in Smeal who came from different cultural backgrounds were extremely accepting and respectful of Indian traditions. And they went out of their way to support and participate in one of the biggest and most awaited events at Smeal; their actions and support made me euphoric. It was a mind-blowing experience for me. More importantly it brought all of us together and gave us the opportunity to get to know each other outside the classroom. This was one of the most wonderful experiences that I have had at Smeal where I felt extremely proud of my decision to join Penn State Smeal MBA program.

-Neha Bareja, Penn State Smeal MBA ’15

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