On April 4-7, University of Minnesota hosted the first of hopefully many undergraduate case competitions in the area of Management Information Systems. This event is named CoMIS and provided the students to test their business skills and information systems knowledge against an elite group of competitors from all around the USA. Ten leading universities sent their representatives to compete, including Arizona, Arizona State, Texas-Austin, Texas-Dallas, Minnesota, Minnesota State, Indiana, Maryland, Utah and UConn.
UConn team was represented by Sebastian Guzera(MIS Senior), Walid Namane(MIS Junior) and Michael Whiteman(MIS Junior). Dmitry Zhdanov served as the team’s coach. It is my great pleasure to inform you that UConn team became the winners of this inaugural competition.
Teams were given 24 hours to analyze a case and prepare their presentations. Case sponsor and topic were not known in advance; to everyone’s surprise and excitement, the case was about Minnesota Wild – a professional hockey team playing in the NHL. Students were asked to identify the best way for the team to boost its social media presence and turn it into revenue. As part of the case, students were given a wealth of data collected from the Wild’s Facebook page (data known as Facebook Insight). Students had to prepare a 20-minute presentation followed by an intensive Q&A session from the judges.
A panel of industry experts judged students’ performance, including two members of the Minnesota Wild front office, as well as executives from 3M, Medtronic, Ernst and Young and others. To preserve competition integrity, university affiliations were not available to the judging panel. UConn team went as Team Apollo.
The teams were broken down into three groups for the first round of the presentations. Group winners went on to the finals to give their talk one more time. UConn was matched with UT-Austin and Arizona State in group B. After winning the group, UConn’s Team Apollo went on to the final to face Utah Cyber Snipers and Maryland’s Dream Team. Utah finished second and Maryland third.
This was a fun an exciting event, many new friendships were made. The fact that our team ended up as the winners makes it even more exciting and speaks highly of the quality and dedication of our students and MIS program. We’ve set a high bar for ourselves going forward.
Pictured left to right: Jan DeGross (of MIS Quarterly) presents the CoMIS 1st place award to UConn Team – Walid Namane, Michael Whiteman, Sebastian Guzera and Dmitry Zhdanov (Coach)