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Finding IT solutions to real-world problems

| Gretchen Hutterli

A team of four students will represent the UW-Eau Claire at the 2016 Travelers IT Case Competition. The event will be held November 4 at the Travelers Insurance Headquarters in St. Paul, MN. Competing for the Blugolds are IS majors Nick Gustafson, Whitney Nyholm, and David Poynter, and IS and accounting double major Leen Wadi. Dr. Tom Hilton, Department of Information Systems, is their faculty coach.

The competition, which is hosted by the Travelers IT Leadership Development Program, allows talented college students to develop their problem-solving and presentation skills in a real-world, professional environment. This year’s case challenges students to propose ways to use technology to get reliable, up-to-date information to claims professionals working in Travelers Catastrophe vans, custom built RVs that function as fully operational mobile claim offices. Student teams are asked to develop a solution, taking into account research and industry trends, and company financial, human and technology resources. They will present their solutions to a panel of IS professionals who evaluate teams on their analysis of the situation, the quality of their solution, the quality of their presentation, and their ability to field questions. Cash prizes are awarded to the teams placing first ($1,000), second ($750) and third ($500).

While the Blugold team hopes to bring home a first, they have already won in so many ways, according to Hilton. In addition to participating in the actual competition, students also get to tour a state-of-the-art IT department, network with IT professionals, and interview for internships and full-time positions.

“Students win any time they participate in a professional development experience like the Travelers case competition," said Hilton. "We are pleased to again be a part of this annual event."