Students Tackle Case Study That Reflects Real-World Business Problem

Published on December 15, 2008
Members of Halliburton's Supply Chain Management group partnered with professors in the UH Bauer Department of Decision & Information Sciences to challenge students with a case study competition. Pictured here are Assistant Professor Jamison Day, Greg Smith, Devin Murphy, Rebeca Ginyovszky, Joseph Price, Visiting Assistant Professor Michael Murray, and Clinical Assistant Professor Victor Wayhan.

Members of Halliburton’s Supply Chain Management group partnered with professors in the UH Bauer Department of Decision & Information Sciences to challenge students with a case study competition. Pictured here are Assistant Professor Jamison Day, Greg Smith, Devin Murphy, Rebeca Ginyovszky, Joseph Price, Visiting Assistant Professor Michael Murray, and Clinical Assistant Professor Victor Wayhan.

Strong corporate partnerships fuel the achievements of students at the University of Houston’s C. T. Bauer College of Business. The combination of practical coursework and opportunities to interact with professionals from leading companies sets the UH Bauer education apart from other business colleges and gives students the tools to succeed.

The Department of Decision and Information Sciences at Bauer partnered with members of Halliburton’s Supply Chain Management group in December to host a case study competition for students in a sophomore supply chain management course.

The challenge was a “win-win-win” for the students, Halliburton and Bauer College, said Assistant Professor Jamison Day, whose class participated in the study. “These kinds of events help provide our students a clearer picture of the real-world professional environment, give Halliburton an opportunity to see some potential new recruits in action, and help Bauer improve its standing in the mind of the industry professionals — both current and future — it serves,” he added.

Members of the winning team (seated), including Stanford Huynh, Depinder Gill, and Sean McFarlin, celebrated with Halliburton representatives and Assistant Professor Jamison Day. Team member Syed Ali is not pictured.

Members of the winning team (seated), including Stanford Huynh, Depinder Gill, and Sean McFarlin, celebrated with Halliburton representatives and Assistant Professor Jamison Day. Team member Syed Ali is not pictured.

The students were put into eight teams, who each presented a hypothetical supply chain business case to the panel of judges, including Devin Murphy, southern region lead recruiter with Halliburton’s University Affairs group; Joseph Price, strategic sourcing team lead with Halliburton’s Supply Chain Management group; Rebeca Ginyovszky, strategic sourcing team lead with the SCM group; and Greg Smith, strategic sourcing manager with the SCM group.

The students were asked to recommend a procurement strategy and business plan for oilfield cement and then were judged on preparedness and organization, analysis of purchase and sales data, an analysis of market conditions, the recommended procurement strategy, and their implementation plan.

“This business case study was a very good representation of the analysis Halliburton’s Strategic Sourcing Department (within the Supply Chain Management group) conducts on a regular basis,” Price said.

The judges were impressed by the students’ preparation and attention to detail, he added. “All of the teams did a very good job in taking the information given and presenting their analysis in a clear and concise manner,” Price said. “Halliburton was impressed with the students’ enthusiasm for the business case study and the content presented. The research conducted by the teams was very thorough and cement industry experts were contacted for input.”

During a lunch break, the SCM group spoke to the students about what their jobs involve and how to gain the experience necessary for a future position in supply chain management. Connecting corporate professionals to future generations of business leaders is an important part of the learning process, Price said.

“By conducting the business case study, the students will have a better appreciation of what a career in Supply Chain Management entails, Halliburton will be able to develop and use local talent, and students will want to become a member of the Halliburton team,” he added.

This was the third case presentation that students in Day’s course gave this semester. The first was an in-class assignment, and the second was given to supply chain professionals at Hewlett Packard who manage the remanufacture and resale of used server equipment.

“Throughout the semester, we have learned how managing inter-firm relationships can impact profitability for individual companies, and for that of an entire supply chain,” Day said. “Over the course of the semester, through these practical applications and case studies, I have noticed a big improvement in how well the students handled themselves in front of a professional audience.”

Halliburton held an awards ceremony in late December to announce the results of the competition and to distribute monetary awards to the teams that finished in first, second and third place. The first place team included supply chain seniors Depinder Gill and Sean McFarlin as well as supply chain juniors Stanford Huynh and Syed Ali.

Supply chain juniors Nida Naqvi and Tatiana Maya placed second with teammates Revee Chan, a supply chain senior, and Zack Schwartz, an accounting junior. The third place team was made up of supply chain senior Mark Lopez, MBA candidate Mehmet Erkesim, supply chain/finance senior Sujana Londhe, and MS candidate Gerardo Gonzales.

By Jessica Robertson

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

About the Bauer College of Business

The C.T. Bauer College of Business has been in operation for more than 60 years at the University of Houston main campus. Through its five academic departments, the college offers a full-range of undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees in business. The Bauer College is fully accredited by the AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In August 2000, Houston business leader and philanthropist Charles T. (Ted) Bauer endowed the College of Business with a $40 million gift. In recognition of his generosity, the college was renamed the C.T. Bauer College of Business.