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MIS team wins business competition

By Olivia Balsinger
On April 17, 2012

The University of Connecticut undergraduate Management Information System team won a business case competition last weekend, CoMIS 2012, amongst competition from nine other leading programs within the nation.

From April 4 to April 7, students from the university travelled to Minnesota, where they were hosted by The Carlson School of Management Information and Decision Sciences department at the University of Minnesota CoMIS 2012 was the first annual Competition on Management Information Systems, a four day, intercollegiate undergraduate MIS case competition.

The website advertised the competition as "a chance for you to test your business skills and information systems knowledge against those of the elite group of students chosen to represent their schools while building your awareness as a future business leader."

The UConn students who participated in the competition and represented the school were Sebastian Guzera, an 8th-semester MIS major, Walid Namane, a 6th-semester MIS major, and Michael Whiteman, a 6th-semester MIS major.

The team was coached by Dr. Dmitry Zhdanov, an Assistant Professor in the OPIM Department.

"As a coach, I was not allowed to communicate with the team until they finished the final presentation," Zhadanov said. "However, I saw other teams presenting and interacted with other coaches; I was really impressed with the quality of the competition. The case itself was very exciting and unexpected. We also learned a lot from other teams."

The other universities that competed against included Arizona, Arizona State, Texas-Austin, Texas-Dallas, Minnesota, Minnesota State, Indiana, Utah and Maryland.

"We all had a great time at the competition," Whiteman said. "The University of Minnesota was a gracious host and put on a really interesting competition. We also really enjoyed networking with some of the brightest MIS students from across the country."

"MIS degree holders combine technological expertise with business acumen, serving as project managers and liaisons between IT teams and business stakeholders," Whiteman said.

Each university was represented by a team of three undergraduate upperclassmen. The competition took place beginning on Friday morning, and teams had 24 hours to read the case and then come up with some sort of solution, according to the website. The competition also included a presentation of their recommendations to the project to the CoMIS judging panel in a 20 minute presentation, a 10 minute Q&A on Saturday morning, and a final presentation from each of the top groups on Saturday afternoon. UConn's win was then announced at the Awards Banquet on Saturday evening.

"It is a great feeling for me to know that our team placed first," Zhdanov said. "I always knew that we have excellent students in the program, and it's great to obtain recognition at the national level. Given that this win came on the very first try, it is even more exciting. I'm looking forward to future competitions and hope that we can maintain the standard that we've set for ourselves."

"We are proud to have represented the University of Connecticut at CoMIS 2012 and really enjoyed competing in Minneapolis," Whiteman said. "Our first place finish over nine of the most competitive MIS programs in the country speaks wonders about the quality of UConn's growing MIS program. We hope to continue to compete in national case competitions and represent UConn's School of Business on the national level."

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