I had the pleasure of participating in the recent RMA TLA Case simulation at Fisher College of Business. I was interested in competing in this event because I recently learned about the Risk Management Association (RMA) and heard positive things about the case competitions. The case simulation was for a DHL run Toys R Us distribution center. We were given a disaster scenario and our mission was to come up with a disaster recovery plan.
In preparation for the competition, we went on a distribution center tour with DHL. It was a great experience and the employees at DHL were passionate about helping the students learn. I had never been to a distribution center before and it was as if my operations management class came to life. Things that I had learned in class became something tangible versus words in a textbook.
The competition was challenging because l did not have any previous business logistics knowledge. As an Actuarial Science student, most of the logistics and operations items are not things I do on a daily basis. It was interesting to put on another hat and think in a different way. My group consisted of majors: logistics, accounting, industrial engineering, and actuarial science. Having a diverse group benefited us because we all brought a different perspective on each area of the competition and were able to come up with valid solutions. We were able to ask the DHL professionals questions about their daily experiences and how things operate. We learned a lot of things that we could not learn in a classroom. Hands-on experience is often hard to get, but some of the most important information about operation comes from the people that live it every day.
Going into the presentation portion of the case competition, my group did not feel particularly confident about our recovery plan. However, after discussing everything for most of the day, our solution seemed simple to us. Our main priority was to protect the workers and get the orders done in an efficient and timely manner. We established this first and used it to guide all of our choices, making the case easier.
I have always wanted to go into mitigating risk for an insurance company. After completing the case and attending other RMA events I have learned so much about multiple areas of risk. Risk is everywhere and it is an opportunity for advancement. If you can mitigate risk properly that can make all the difference, not only with money but also with the safety and health of workers and consumers. I also learned that risk is not always quantifiable. People cannot always be explained by numbers and in my opinion, it is one of the biggest factors of risk. My group focused heavily on this in our recovery plan, and I think it helped guide a lot of our choices. Overall, the case competition was a great academic experience.
I would like to thank DHL and Toys R Us for giving us an opportunity to participate in this competition, and for taking the time to come to Ohio State and share their knowledge. The hands-on experience provided was worth more than any textbook.