A team of four Carlson School MA-HRIR students recently took third place at the Ohio State University Fisher 2017 HR Invitational Case Competition. Team members include Yusuke Yamamoto, Becky Tso, Kimi Tang, and Sammy Whitlock. This case competition was sponsored by PepsiCo, which provided the teams with a current challenge that its Frito Lay business is facing. “The case concerned the Frito Lay Route Sales Representative role and how to hire more people into that role in urban settings,” says team member Tso. “We were asked to provide proposals for how we would increase awareness and the applicant pool for this role, keeping in mind a tight budget and the need to hire diverse people who reflect the diversity of their communities.”
The teams were given one day to present their proposals. The Carlson School team’s proposal attempted to build off the current processes Frito Lay is already doing by giving the hiring managers more support and structure to advertise the role. The proposal also included involving the current route sales representatives to advertise their positions.
“What I got out of this competition was a realistic preview of the constraints and challenges that businesses face,” Tso said. “The judges asked questions and challenged us as if we were real consultants, not students, which pushed me to consider problems differently and hold myself to a higher standard.”
Teammate Yamomato agreed with Tso’s sentiment that the competition pushed and challenged the team to think further and deeper about the problem. “I want to add that it was not only an opportunity to gain some experience in solving real-world problems, but also to network with other future HR professionals,” he said.