Student Chapter Represents HR Tampa in 2014 HR Case Competition
by Jasmine S. Jackson, Edna Ubervil, and Caitlin Evans
The HR Tampa Student Chapter proudly represented HR Tampa at the 2nd Annual HR Case Competition at the 2014 HR Florida Leadership Conference in Orlando, FL. The Student Chapter sent three individuals to compete: Edna Ubervil and Jasmine S. Jackson (St. Leo University – HRM) and Caitlin Evans (Santa Fe College – Business Administration). The competition was held on Friday, January 10, 2014 and marked a number of firsts for us. While this was the first time for all of us to attend a professional HR conference, the competition was also the first time we competed as a team.
After receiving instructions from HR Florida College Relations Director Jim Gallo, we went to our designated competition room (an executive suite in the Hilton Orlando, complete with a view of the pool that we used as our motivation to finish quickly so we could go jump in for a swim immediately after we finished). After reviewing the case and the directions, we spent some time discussing our strategy and how we would handle the work. We all discussed our strengths and weaknesses that would help us complete the task at hand. Our case focused on a fictitious manufacturing organization that was searching for a consulting group to help align the business’s goals and objectives with its available human resources. We had four hours to work on a two-page paper and a Power Point presentation, after which we would deliver a 15-minute oral presentation to a panel of three judges discussing the major areas of opportunity for the organization and our recommendations.
Once we got down the facts, we decided who would take on what tasks to make sure we could deliver a quality product. Time was not on our side, and though we started to have a lot of great ideas towards the end, we were too close to our final hour to make any major changes. We were slightly aware of our competition, but we remembered that we were putting our best efforts and that was enough to be proud. When we were in the last 30 minutes, it was crunch time. We started to discuss how and exactly what we would present to the judges. When time was up, we made our way to the judges’ room, and just before entering we all enjoyed a group hug with HR Tampa Past President Lynnette Holsinger. Her support at the very moment did much to reassure us and put our minds a little more at ease.
Walking into the silent room with the judges sitting at the table meant it was now game time. They complimented our dress and how professional we looked. Once our oral presentation was complete, we asked the judges if they had questions. They followed up with us on some things they may not have understood, and we answered accordingly. We thanked them, and then walked out.
After the storm was over, we were so happy! We must have forgotten about the pool because all we could think about was “we could have done this better”. We started to critique ourselves, but Liam Moore, College Relations Director, told us he was proud of us and that we did a great job. He reminded us that that the most important thing about this experience was to help us learn and prepare for our future roles in the HR profession. (We still wanted to do better.)
The results of the HR Case Competition were announced the next day at lunch, and we were so happy to find out that we came in second place! We felt victorious, as we three young women who had never competed together as a team before actually put their heads together and made it seem effortless. We learned how to encourage each other as teammates should do. We also gained some valuable insight from the judges and Liam as our leader. The competition also gave us additional confirmation that HR is the career that we definitely want to pursue. The overall experience was amazing, and we can't wait to win first place at the next Conference!