Cornell University

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News

April 9 2012

ILR Competes in Negotiation Competition in Montreal

Pictured (from left to right): Chris Q. Lee MILR ‘13; Alexia Andre ESCP/MILR Dual Degree ’12; Matt Gordon, MILR ’12; Whitney Cushing BSILR ’09, MILR ’12 and Mark Gough, ILR Ph.D ’14. (Not pictured: Coach/Professor Alex ColvinLast month, a group of ILR graduate students along with their coach, Professor Alex Colvin participated in a negotiation case competition in Montreal. The competition was hosted by the University of Montreal, and competition was composed of a strageic labor management case competition in the morning and a negotiation case and simulation in the afternoon. Representing Cornell ILR was (pictured from left to right) Chris Q. Lee MILR ‘13; Alexia Andre ESCP/MILR Dual Degree ’12; Matt Gordon, MILR ’12; Whitney Cushing, BSILR ’09, MILR ’12; and Mark Gough, ILR Ph.D ’14. Other teams that participated in the competition University of Montreal (one team of graduate students, and one of undergraduate students), two teams from Queens University, and a team from the University of Toronto.

Professor Alex Colvin summed up the event beautifully, “The team did a great job representing ILR at the competition. Despite only coming together as a team a couple of weeks before the competition, they worked well together preparing for the event. One major challenge was that this was an ‘away game’ for us, with the strategic labor management case and the negotiations case they were analyzing being based on Canadian business settings, labor relations, and laws, all of which the competing teams were much more familiar. Complicating the task in the actual negotiations, many of the participants were French-speaking students from Quebec, with varying facility in English. So the team had to grapple with a cross-cultural experience as well as a negotiations problem. Despite these challenges, they pulled together and came through with an excellent result, being runners-up in both the strategic labor management case competition and the negotiations case competition. As the faculty coach of the team, I am very proud of how they performed in the competition and what fine representatives of ILR they were!”

When speaking to the students, they seemed proud and happy of their great accomplishment in the competition, and also walked away with life experiences that have renewed their interest in labor relations. Whitney Cushing said, “It was definitely one of the most meaningful experiences I've had at ILR as an graduate or undergraduate. Doing well in the competition will give me confidence as I begin my first work assignment in labor relations. Meeting so many Canadian students pursuing labor relations, especially work with unions, was neat to see.” Matt Gordon described the event as a “defining moment of his time at ILR,” and also a great way to finish the MILR program, as he is graduating this May. A new student in the MILR program, Chris Q. Lee also learned a lot from the event and added “Most of all, I enjoyed meeting students from other schools majoring in HR and/or industrial and labor relations, in addition to getting to know my fellow ILRies better.” Congratulations again to the Cornell ILR team and to Professor Alex Colvin!