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iSchool selected to send student team to compete in Travelers IT Case Competition
iSchool selected to send student team to compete in Travelers IT Case CompetitionNovember 05, 2007Margaret Costello Spillettmcostell@syr.edu
On Friday, Nov. 16, a team of students from Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies (iSchool) will compete against student teams from across the Northeast and the Midwest in the 2007 Travelers Information Technology Case Competition in Hartford, Conn.
Seniors Josh Frost and Grant Haggan, and sophomores Jamie Green and Brendan Tindall will represent the iSchool at this prestigious competition. Travelers invites about 10 teams from colleges with strong information management programs to compete. All participating students were nominated by their home colleges and have grade point averages of 3.0 or higher.
The team will use half the day to research one of several IT business problems presented by Travelers, one of the largest property and casualty insurance providers in the United States. Typical problems include overseas IT outsourcing, open source alternatives, the IT professional in 2020, insurance and cybercrime, and the role of legacy technology platforms.
“I’m looking forward to applying my academic skills to a real-world situation,” says Frost, who has a triple major in information management and technology, Spanish and history. “It is very gratifying to have your newly acquired skills result in something productive, and I am hoping to see that come to life in this competition.”
Brendan Tindall, a double major in information management and technology and finance, looks forward to networking and hopefully impressing his former summer employer. “I’m interested in returning to Travelers to work there this summer and would like to use this opportunity to get more involved with the company’s Information Technology Leadership Development Program,” he says.
During the second half of the day, the competing teams will present their solutions to a panel of Travelers executive judges. Winning teams receive $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third place.
“Students will have the undivided-attention of hiring managers with the opportunity to impress them with their critical thinking, oral communication and presentation skills,” says iSchool professor Dave Dischiave, director of the M.S. in information management program, who is accompanying the team to Connecticut. “This forum will be a great place for students to meet managers to discuss hiring needs and share their professional interests, as well as get a feel for the corporate culture of a large financial services company.”
Over the next two weeks, Dischiave, along with professors Jeffrey Rubin and Susan Dischiave, will work with the team members to help them prepare for the competition.
“They’ll try out presentation techniques needed to communicate with business executives and learn how to deal with valuable, as well as critical, feedback on their presentation skills and advice on improving their problem-solving abilities,” Rubin says.