MGA, MPP students work together in SHIFT Public Sector Case Competition

January 25, 2021
Felicity Heyworth

On January 16, 2021, students from the Munk School’s Master of Global Affairs and Master of Public Policy programs joined MBA and Master of Information students from U of T’s Rotman School of Management and Faculty of Information to participate in the annual SHIFT Public Sector Case Competition. Hosted and sponsored annually by KPMG, the event invites students to build their collaborative, technical and creative capacities by tackling a real world, public sector issue.

The Munk School’s student-led Consulting Careers Initiative (CCI) organizes the event, and this year took the lead in reviewing more than one hundred applications to participate, selecting 36 participants and building nine teams for the competition. CCI members liaise with Munk School alumni at KPMG, who represent the consultancy throughout the process and act as mentors during the event.

Students work in cross-disciplinary teams of four to test their consultancy skills in front of leaders from industry and the public sector. This year, teams were asked to build and present a case study of the Ontario government’s digital identity strategy. Teams examined how digital identity programs could be applied to various aspects of healthcare. They were expected to identify leading practices in digital identity; highlight any fiscal implications and challenges to implementation; remain aware of the political nuances of any strategy; and clearly outline the provincial government’s role in the development, stewardship, and regulation of their proposed initiative. 

Faculty members supported the teams during the final presentations, and an expert panel event in advance of the competition gave participants the opportunity to delve deeper into the details of the issue. The panel of judges was made up of senior partners from KPMG, leading digital identity experts from Interac and 2Keys and the City of Toronto’s Chief Technology Officer. The judges reported that they found it very difficult to rank the top three teams, and had to review the criteria in intricate detail in order to identify the winning team. Along with a cash prize, the winning team members are invited to interview for KPMG’s highly competitive summer internship program.

“CCI is very grateful to KPMG for continuing to support our initiative,” said Anastasia Volkov, MPP ’21 candidate and member of the Consulting Careers Initiative. “Each year, students from multiple programs wait impatiently for the SHIFT case competition, because it allows them to work in cross-program teams to crack a challenging interdisciplinary case.”

Learn more about the SHIFT Public Sector Case Competition.