Non-Profit Supply Chain Management with St. Clair College Students

June 30, 2021

Through Riipen, educators can introduce their students to experiential learning and organizations can source creative ideas from students. One organization that recently tapped into the power of students is the Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance, a Canadian non-profit organization that has raised awareness of congenital heart disease since 2004.

Over the course of two months, students in a supply chain management course at St. Clair College worked with the Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance (CCHA) to identify a printing and merchandise fulfillment company for the organization to work with that could meet their business needs. We spoke with Bipin, Melony, and Zahida, to dive into how this real-world project helped them take their classroom learning to the next level.

Project Scope

The CCHA was looking to create merchandise as an additional source of fundraising. However, many of the industry-recommended print and merchandise fulfillment companies were either US-based or could not meet their needs. The organization needed help conducting research and cost analysis of their options, in order to select the most appropriate print and merchandise partner.

St. Clair International Business Management students combed through all possible alternatives, narrowed down potential partners, and created reports with everything the CCHA would need to select an organization to work this. Beyond analysis and creating reports, students even engaged in procurement negotiations with print companies on behalf of the CCHA.

Putting Classroom Learnings to the Test

Melony Matthew, an International Business Management student, greatly appreciated the opportunity to practice all of the supplier communication skills she had learned in class. “This past month, I’ve been talking to suppliers through email and phone. Through putting my negotiation skills into practice, I’ve learned that I can be a strong negotiator,” detailed Melony.

Bipin Patel similarly praised the experience for tying all of their education together. “I know the value of experiential learning and this project has proven that value by allowing us to experience the career our learning was leading us to,” explained Bipin.

Working with the CCHA

Each student described working with the CCHA as an extremely positive experience. Zahida Sharmin found working with the non-profit very exciting as it was her first exposure to a project like this in Canada. “I had similar experiences working with companies back in my country, but I’ve never conducted sourcing and merchandising related activities before,” said Zahida.

Melony fondly recounted how the CCHA representatives were “very welcoming and always had a smile on their faces,” which helped make the students feel more comfortable working with the organization.

Glowing Reviews for Work-Integrated Learning

All three students we spoke with provided high praise for the learning opportunities Riipen enables students to be a part of. 

Bipin remarked that he was extremely thankful for the Riipen platform and that “students who don’t engage in opportunities like this will have a hard time realizing where they stand in terms of their career readiness.” Zahida believes that students who are passionate about learning will find particular value out of a Riipen project, and Melony wished she had learned about Riipen sooner as she would have tried to participate in more projects.

With thousands of employers on Riipen looking to work with students, find out how you can get your classroom involved with experiential learning today.

A huge thank you to Melony, Bipin, and Zahida for speaking with us and sharing your experience. To learn more about Riipen and how to get started with experiential learning, visit our website to set up a project today or book a live demo. You can stay connected with Riipen through our Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.

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About the Author
Aaron Chang is a Marketing Intern at Riipen, as well as a fourth-year Business student at Simon Fraser University. He is passionate about spreading positivity and creating connections with others. When he has the time, he loves writing short stories, binging anime, and having a little too much chocolate.