Engaging the next generations of public procurement professionals is more critical than ever as the role of procurement professionals continues to evolve. What better way to engage the next generation than challenging students to solve some of public procurement’s most significant challenges? And just like that, NASPO’s first public procurement case competition took shape.
In late October, NASPO’s inaugural case competition brought together Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs), procurement officials, academics, and undergraduate supply chain students from across the nation to Iowa State University, one of NASPO’s Academic Partners, in Ames, Iowa.
Thanks to the expertise of the judges, such as Thor Vue (CPO for Alaska), George Schutter (CPO for the District of Colombia), Allen Meyer (CPO for Iowa), and Mary Nelson (Buying Acquisitions Specialist for Minnesota), the students were peppered with questions about the viability of their solutions. By no means did the judges hold back, and by no means did the students’ answers disappoint. Teams were up for the challenge!
After two rounds of great presentations and questioning, Northeastern University took first place and won a prize of $4,000. Not far behind was Brigham Young University in second place, receiving a $2,000 prize, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in third place, receiving a $1,000 prize.
Northeastern University D’Amore McKim School of Business students: Mary O’Neil, Emma Toole, Amber Adelman, and Ben Paseltiner
However, the students were not the only winners. The event brought awareness to public procurement’s vital role in both students’ and academics’ lives. Although several universities hold supply chain management case competitions, this was the first focused on public procurement—making it a truly unique experience for everyone involved. The event also provided the opportunity for state CPOs and officials to talk about the work they are doing across the nation and recruit students for state positions.
Not only was this a way for undergraduate students to directly engage with public procurement officials and gain exposure to the field, the case study, which was researched and written by NASPO and served as the fact pattern for the competition, will be released as a new teaching tool for public procurement trainers and academics. Keep an eye out for announcements about the case study training tool and NASPO’s next student competition!
Check out some of the other ways NASPO’s Strategic Partners and Professional Development teams are getting out the word about public procurement:
NASPO’s 2022 Case Competition Participants:
Brigham Young University
- Northeastern University
University of Kansas
University of West Florida
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Wayne State University