Conestoga news

October 10, 2013 1:34 PM

Conestoga student tops international competition

Alexandra Villemaire, a third-year student in Conestoga’s Business Administration - Supply Chain and Operations Management program, bested students from across North America to take first place in APICS’ annual Head of the Class competition, held this year in Orlando, Florida on September 29 in conjunction with their annual conference.

APICS is the global professional association, providing training, research, certification and networking programs for supply chain and operations management, including production, inventory, materials management, purchasing, and logistics. The organization has almost 40,000 members in more than 200 countries. Conestoga’s student chapter, one of the largest in Canada, has over 50 members.

The Head of the Class competition is a rapid-elimination, multiple choice trivia contest designed to test students’ industry knowledge. Most of the questions are directly related to operations and supply chain management.

Villemaire competed in four elimination rounds before making her way to the final, testing her knowledge against competitors from schools across North America, including Michigan State University and University of California, Los Angeles. She credits her final win to the knowledge she gained from her Conestoga instructors as well as the practical experience she developed through 3 co-op terms.

Villemaire is one of Conestoga’s First Generation students, and chose the Business Administration - Supply Chain and Operations Management program because she’s always been interested in how things run. She was seeking a program that would hold her interest and lead to a successful career.

She describes supply management as a job that covers the entire span of a product lifecycle, from sourcing raw materials for production of a product all the way to shipping that product to the retailer and on to the customer. For her, it was the perfect fit.

"I decided I wanted something more than marketing or accounting on their own," she said. "This program filled the gaps about what goes into running a company. That's what I was most interested in."

According to Program Coordinator Tracey Lopers, the supply-chain management industry is considered an under-serviced sector, with more than 65,000 jobs being created each year.