UW-Eau Claire information systems majors Aderinola Adegoke, John Hanzal, Pia Hashim and Justin Lorentz along with their adviser Tom Sulzer, traveled to Vancouver, BC and took part in the 2019 CaseIT International Business Case competition. The competition was hosted by Simon Fraser University, the annual international competition has a strong management information system focus and is designed to find the best and brightest in strategic IT case analysis. The competition ran from Feb. 17-22.
UW-Eau Claire was one of 16 universities invited to participate in this year’s event. The Blugold team went up against students from six counties in addition to the United States.
“We look to improve each year,” said Sulzer. “That is a tall order as the students are competing against some of the best talent in the world. Each year our students are up against students who in some cases have dedicated more than a year preparing for this competition.”
CaseIT teams have 24 hours to solve and present their team’s solution to a panel of judges composed of industry professionals from companies such as CGI, and Microsoft. Adegoke, Hanzal, Hashim, and Lorentz see the strict 24-hour time frame as one of their greatest challenges. In preparation, they have been reviewing prior year’s problems and presentations with Sulzer and participating in mock case activities. The other challenge -- competing against students from some of the most prestigious universities around the world. But they feel their UW-Eau Claire business classes have given them a strong foundation from which to draw from.
“Competing at CaseIT was a life changing opportunity.” said Lorentz. “Over time I noticed how I had developed not only as a case competitor but as a future IT professional. The experience allowed me to meet other future leaders in IT and compete in an agile, fast-pace and intense atmosphere where teamwork determined success. I am grateful for the experience and the friends I made through the journey!”
Aderinola Adegoke added, “The level of competition was tough, and we had to push ourselves to get to the finals.”
Sulzer further commented, “I really have to commend each of the students for putting themselves out there and being willing to try something that is not only out of their comfort zone but also on a pretty public stage. It is a testament to their willingness to learn as well as their confidence and bravery to take on new challenges.”
John Hanzal indicated that “opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” and Pia Hashim wrote, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
Special thanks to the UW-Eau Claire CaseIT sponsors: Learning and Technology Services, Department of Information Systems, and the College of Business.