The 2nd annual Deloitte Supply Chain Challenge is a case competition sponsored by Deloitte Consulting each year. It is a two round structure, with the first round taking place on your individual campus. In the first round, you compete against other teams from your university, with the winning team going forward to the second round facing other universities. This year seven universities participated; Georgia Tech, University of Tennessee, BYU, Arizona State, Carnegie Mellon, and Rutgers, hosted at the UT campus. The first round was a classic Harvard Business School Case focusing on a Waste to Energy Plant on the West Coast. Our team gave a strong presentation, using data only where available, and building a recommendation on how to proceed. After taking first place here at Penn State, we prepared for two weeks before flying down to Knoxville, TN for the second round. The second round started off in an unusual manner. We went down expecting another Harvard Business School case, but we were handed a 2 paragraph Request for Proposal Document. The case was designed as a consulting simulation with Deloitte consulting practitioners acting as supervisors and company executives while checking in with us throughout our efforts. We were tasked with providing a response to a request for consulting services from Vitamix, a personal blender company looking to take advantage or current market conditions in the European Market. We had several deliverables throughout the 16 hours from receiving the case until final copies were due. We worked to find as much relevant outside information to pair with the information we were able to extract from “company executives (Deloitte Consultants). Our final presentation was successful, with our team approaching the pitch with a “This is what we would like to explore for you” method as opposed to making a recommendation. This ultimately helped our team place 2nd overall above The University of Tennessee, BYU, Arizona State, Carnegie Mellon, and Rutgers while placing behind Georgia Tech. It was a honor to represent Penn State and the Smeal MBA program in front of one of our programs largest employers. We would like to thank all of the staff in 220, especially Erik Orient and Sandy Simler, for their support throughout the whole process.
– James Donato, Penn State Smeal MBA ‘16