March 20, 2017
On Acadia University's campus you'll find students studying for final exams, and putting the finishing touches on final projects and presentations. For twelve accounting students, they're donning suits and ties as their classroom becomes a boardroom for their final presentation. Their audience: JDI finance leaders who are here for the JDI Finance Direct Exchange Case Competition.
J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI) has partnered with Acadia University to give students an opportunity to solve a real-life business case. Over the past nine years, JDI has sponsored IT, Finance, Supply Chain, and Marketing case study competitions at several post-secondary institutions. Our eight university partners include: Acadia University, Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, Université de Moncton, Mount Allison University, Saint Francis Xavier University, and the University of New Brunswick (both Fredericton and Saint John campuses). To date, over 3,900 talented students have participated in JDI-led case competitions.
Ian Feltmate, Professor at Acadia University's Business Faculty, describes the case competition as powerful academic, and professional experience for his students. "Case competitions are the best way to bring the real world, with all its complexities, into the classroom. What they are learning in the classroom is, indeed, applicable in the real world. For some of my students, being involved in this case is going to be a life-changing experience. They went into this process very nervous, and now that they've done so well, it's going to increase their confidence going forward." At the Direct Exchange Case Competition, teams of four students are presented with a real-life scenario at JDI, including the relevant data and conditions that a JDI manager was facing at the time. After research and analysis, the teams each suggest a solution, complete with the logic to support their decision. Teams were judged based on content completeness, presentation skills, and responses to specific questions posed by the judges.
|Twelve Acadia University students participated in the JDI Direct Exchange Case Competition.|
The case competition experience is one Kristyn Stobbe would strongly recommend. “As a student, getting feedback is invaluable. One of the most important things to receive feedback on is our ability to make decisions based on the theoretical knowledge we get in the classroom. Being able to get feedback from industry professionals is invaluable, ultimately preparing us for our careers beyond graduation."
Tyler Honeywood, member of the winning team, described the case competition as a unique experience. "So many times as an accounting student you work in isolation with spreadsheets and numbers. Having an actual case forces you to work in a team dynamic, which is so much more reflective of the real world. You're working with the people behind numbers."
The Direct Exchange Case Competition is an excellent learning tool, giving students an experience they would not otherwise get in class.
"We're helping to expand the professional network of students before they leave the university campus," said Andrew Alford, Director of Accounting and Reporting at Halifax Shipyard and one of the judges of the case competition. "It's also a more lively way to interact with students, getting to know them and their professional aspirations outside of a formal interview."
JDI is proud to have over 75 Acadia University graduates on our team today. A case competition can also be the start of a career. Jake Simon of Mount Allison University, Jane McTague of St. Francis Xavier University, and Johnathan Bienko of Dalhousie University are a few examples of people growing their careers at JDI after experiencing a case competition in class. Follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.