Thunderbirds Represent!

RepBy Rahul Garg

The skies over the “Valley of the Sun” were a little more crowded this weekend as students from around the region flew into Sky Harbor Airport to participate in the 7th Annual APICS West Coast Student Case Competition.

Recorded as the largest competition thus far, there were twenty-five undergraduate and graduate teams representing fourteen universities from as far north as Oregon to as far south as Mexico. I am proud to report that The Thunderbird School of Global Management was the only school representing Arizona.

For those of you unfamiliar with APICS (Association for Operations Management), it is a professional organization which is recognized as the “global leader and premier source of body of knowledge” in the industries of supply chain and operations management. (

Over the weekend, hotel rooms were turned into conference rooms as laptops were plugged in and white boards were propped up against chairs and walls thereby creating the perfect setting for business students to analyze the case in question. With a time limit of five hours, teams comprised of three to five students had to indentify and determine the scope of problem(s), develop solutions and contingency plans, and present their result in a report limited to three pages as well as an oral presentation limited to eight minutes. Talk about pressure!

At this time, I would like to tell you about the newly created APICS Thunderbird Student Chapter. Through the initiative and efforts of current and former students, the APICS Thunderbird Student Chapter became officially recognized by APICS this past fall. Of the thirteen T-birds that competed this weekend, ten were first years! When you see them on campus, please take a moment to congratulate them, ask them about their experience, and what APICS can offer you.

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