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Penn State Smeal marks 10th anniversary of Penn State Boeing Case Competition

April 3, 2017

Boeing Case Comp winners
The team of Kevin Krieger, Zach Weinhold, Nicholas Gallo, and Zaid Darawsheh placed first in the Penn State Boeing Case Competition in late March. The team posed with the judges, all Boeing executives. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the case competition, which started at Penn State and has since spread nation wide.
In 2008, The Boeing Company was seeking a way to engage students from the Penn State Smeal College of Business, informing and recruiting them at the same time.

“We wanted to give them an idea of what is the business of a big production company like Boeing,” said Rosemary Potts, senior manager of employee development for the finance organization at Boeing.

This week, the company’s creation, the Penn State Boeing Case Competition, celebrated its 10th anniversary. Three teams of mixed Smeal majors earned the top prizes.

The team of Kevin Krieger (supply chain and information systems major), Zach Weinhold (SC&IS), Nicholas Gallo (accounting), and Zaid Darawsheh (management information systems) placed first and won $1,000. 

The team of Cara Ulizio (SC&IS) Matthew Goddard (SC&IS), Mackenzie Hornibrook (SC&IS), and Jazzy Song (accounting) earned $600 for its second-place finish. 

The team of Raza Asghar (finance), Stephanie Mock(SC&IS), Christina Li (finance), and Reed Callan (SC&IS) placed third and earned $400. 

Potts and several other Boeing officials visited Penn State a month ahead of the competition to deliver the case and disperse contact information for the six mentors Boeing makes available to teams to answer questions and give guidance in the intervening month. 

Boeing and Potts have worked with Norm Aggon, instructor in operations and supply chain management, and Kitty Riley, instructor in management information systems, throughout the years to facilitate the case competition. 

This year’s case involved a hypothetical order of 24 CH-47F Chinook helicopters from a foreign country, which meant they would need to be customized. Teams needed to assess the financial and supply chain impacts on the company. 

Teams had a month to prepare a 15-20-minute presentation to a panel of Boeing judges outlining the problem, recommendations, and supporting evidence. They were then subjected to 10 minutes of questioning. 

Potts said the case competition has a lot of depth to it and reveals to the judges much about the students on each team. 

“As they present the case, you see their logic. You can see how they work as a team. You see their presentation and communication skills come through. You see where the leadership comes out on the teams. You can see them get a depth of understanding of the business of Boeing and the business of any major production corporation,” she said. 

Participation in the case competition doesn’t guarantee that Boeing will hire a student, but it does help. 

“I strongly recommend when students participate in the case that they put it on their resume. It demonstrates that they go above and beyond expectations,” Potts said. “That’s what every manager is looking for when they are looking to hire.”

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Andy Elder
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