Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Two Huntsman Teams Make it to Final Four of International Information Systems Competition

By Steve Eaton

Two Huntsman teams are finalists in an information systems competition that drew initial submissions from around the world.

The competition is sponsored by Association for Information Systems, a professional organization that earlier this year recognized the Huntsman AIS chapter with an “outstanding” designation, something given to only three other chapters in the nation last year.
Allan Follett, Chad Williams, Conner Sorensen

Chad Williams, Conner Sorensen and Allan Follett entered a contest that required them to create a video. Their production focused on explaining what the phrase “big data” means and why students who study in this area have increased job opportunities. Their video can be viewed by clicking here. They were one of four teams selected as finalists in their category for the AIS 2014 Student Chapter Conference and Competition that will be hosted by Arizona State University from March 20 – 22, 2014.

Vishal Patel and Divya Reddy competed in the IT security category. To qualify as finalists they were asked to take on a case study that involved a company with very complex IT problems that wanted to simplify its systems and get a better return on investment. That team is also one of four selected to be a finalist in the competition.

Vishal said the case studies are very similar to the type of complex problems they will face after graduation and that he considers the experience he is gaining by competing very valuable. The

Divya Reddy and Vishal Patel
students said the competition gives them a chance to showcase their skills on an international stage and to network with top industry officials. Last year Vishal was on a team that took first place in the “IT risk and identification” category. Another Huntsman team took second in the “interactive learning module” category.

“It’s very rewarding when students from around the world enter this competition and we have teams that come out on top,” said David Olsen, the head of the Management Information Systems Department. “This bodes well for our students as they enter the marketplace and it keeps the bar high for our department. Leading organizations and companies seek out Huntsman students because they know they will contribute in a big way and they want that competitive edge.”

The students are members of the Huntsman AIS student chapter which was recently recognized as an “outstanding chapter” by the AIS parent organization, an honor only four chapters in the world earned last year, according to Timothy McFall, the president of the chapter.

“Our AIS chapter competed with top schools; many of which have substantial budgets and administrative support,” said Susan Jones, the faculty advisor for the club. “This year’s top honors went to schools like the University of Alabama, University of Georgia and the University of Michigan. Our students have reason to be proud that their hard work has paid off with this recognition.”

The student chapter was judged in five areas: professional development, community service, recruitment, communications and the management of the chapter, she said.

“Being active in the chapter gives us opportunities to distinguish ourselves from our peers and to get experience, knowledge and skills that are difficult to gain in just a classroom setting,” Timothy said.

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