WLU students take home first place in WVSHRM competition


Vishaka Maskey

Tessa Ullom and Macie Roy accompanied by Professor Maskey during the conference portion of the competition.

West Liberty University students competing in the annual West Virginia State Council for the Society for Human Resource Management (WVSHRM) Classic Case
Competition took home first place.

Macie Roy, a junior majoring in marketing, and Tessa Ullom, a sophomore management major, won first place on Nov. 9 – 10 in Bridgeport, W.Va. The first day was the competition where students presented their case solutions to three judges. The second day was the award ceremony and a conference that allowed the participants to network with professionals and students in the business marketing field.

Suzanne Gosden Kitchen, the director of the competition, awarded Ullom and Roy with a $1,000 prize and plaque that states “WVSHRM, Classic Case Competition, 1st Place, Division 1, 2022”. Commenting on the change of the competition and the delivery of the prize through Venmo, Ullom said, “I was actually very surprised at how modern the exchange was.”

The group delivered a presentation on a case study for the competition about a fictional bank named Taykit-Tootha. They received the study ten days before the competition and had to decide whether the bank should institute a formal remote work policy or have all employees come back to the office. Roy and Ullom made their decision for which stance to argue based on the concerns of the executives.

During the competition, Roy and Ullom were given three questions to answer during a 15-minute presentation. After the presentation, the judges could ask any question they wanted for up to 15 minutes. “Macie and I were very nervous right before our allotted presentation time, but we settled into our groove almost as soon as we began presenting. It was a really amazing experience, and we had a great dialogue with the judges during the Q&A (question and answer) section,” said Ullom.

Ullom and Roy didn’t get to see the other competitors present but got the opportunity to eat with them afterward where they found that some competitors drove as far as Tennessee to participate in the competition. Roy and Ullom discovered that most teams were made up of upper-level students such as seniors. Ullom commented on this by stating, “Despite this, the challenge the other students presented just motivated the two of us more. We definitely spent more time having fun than being anxious throughout the duration of the conference.”

If you are looking to participate in next year’s competition, Professor Vashakha Maskey is the faculty advisor and is looking for marketing students interested in competing. Her role is to develop WLU teams by searching for and encouraging students to participate. She enters, registers and accompanies students to Bridgeport where the competition is hosted. Teams can be two to four graduate or undergraduate students. Schools must enter one team per division, but only two teams maximum. The competition is limited to seven teams.

Students interested should have experience in programs such as human resource management, general business, management, strategy, industrial relations, business administration, international business, organizational behavior and leadership. Maskey explained the main intentions of the competition by saying, “…to promote meaningful student engagement within your degree program, to nurture collaborative educational opportunities between colleges/universities in our state and to foster networking opportunities between students and human resources professionals.”

Roy and Ullom are excited to compete again next year if they are presented with the opportunity. Ullom said, “It would be really awesome to be a part of the first team that starts a tradition of WLU business students competing at the annual WVSHRM Case Competition!”

For more information, contact Professor Maskey via email at [email protected].