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Blugold IS team to compete at CaseIT

| Gretchen Hutterli

UW-Eau Claire information systems students Sara Krajewski, Alyssa Noll, and Jarrett Yuknis, along with their faculty adviser Tom Sulzer, will travel to Vancouver, BC to participate in the 2017 CaseIT, Feb. 14-17. Hosted by Simon Fraser University, the annual international competition has a strong management information systems focus and is designed to find the best and brightest in strategic IT case analysis.

UW-Eau Claire is one of 20 universities invited to participate in this year’s event. The Blugold team will go up against students from ten counties in addition to the United States. See below.

“Last year’s students blazed the trail by being the first group to ever go from Eau Claire, and this year’s team is looking to improve on that performance,” said Sulzer. “That is a tall order, but I know our students are up for the challenge.”

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 SAP, CGI, and Microsoft. Krajewski, Noll and Yuknis see the strict 24-hour time frame as one of their greatest challenges, so 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.

“Our classes have prepared us very well for this competition because most class content mirrors what is done in the current business environment,” said Yuknis. “The case will mimic an ambiguous, real-world business case that requires a viable solution. The ambiguity of class projects and assignments, especially within the information systems major, has been especially helpful.”

Noll agreed.

“The College of Business has provided me with a well-rounded education in all aspects of the business world,” she said. “While our presentation will most likely be focused on technology, we must back up our ideas with aspects of accounting, finance, marketing and implementation tactics, and use our business communication knowledge to effectively present all of our ideas to the judges.”

But CaseIT is more than just an opportunity for the Blugold team to testing its knowledge and skills. There will be dinners, socials, and time to sightsee.

“I am very excited to meet students from around the world, and network with IT professionals from companies like SAP and Microsoft,” said Krajewski. “Also, I am very excited to explore Vancouver and travel outside the United States!”

Win or lose, CaseIT will be an experience that Krajewski, Noll and Yuknis will never forget . . . perhaps even a defining moment in their professional careers.

“I feel strongly about people challenging themselves and by doing so, seeing what their potential is,” said Sulzer. “More often than not, they surprise themselves and find out that they are capable of doing much more than what they thought they were capable of. They just need a platform to do it on, and CaseIT is one of the biggest and most prestigious competitions there is.”

Special thanks to the UW-Eau Claire CaseIT sponsors: Learning and Technology Services, Department of Information Systems, and the College of Business.  

2017 CaseIT Competitors

AUSTRALIA: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology; BELGIUM: Université libre de Bruxelles; DENMARK: Copenhagen Business School; CANADA: HEC Montreal, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Queen’s University, Ryerson University, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary; CHINA: Shantou University; HONG KONG: Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; HUNGARY: Corvinus University of Budapest; INDONESIA: Bandung Institute of Technology; MEXICO: Tecnológico de Monterrey; THAILAND: Mahidol University International College; U.S.A.: Indiana University, Iowa State University, University of Minnesota, UW-Eau Claire.