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Bentley Students Take First Place at Travelers IT Case Competition
A team of four undergraduate students from Bentley University took home the first place prize at the 2016 Travelers IT Case Competition held in Hartford, Connecticut. Olivia Corriveau ’18, Olivia von Oldenburg ’18, Angela Su ’17, and Meilin Zhu ’17 are all majoring in Computer Information Systems (CIS) at Bentley and worked with professors Heikki Topi and Jennifer Xu who guided them in their winning presentation.
“This was a high quality group of thoughtful students,” shares Topi. “All four team members were dedicated to working hard and discovering an innovative solution to their assigned business problem.”
In their final presentation, the judges credited Bentley’s team with not only presenting an advanced technical solution, but also for effectively tying relevant technology back to the company’s overall business strategy.
“Travelers Insurance was looking for recommendations on ways to improve the capacity and capabilities of their mobile claims processing centers,” explains Topi. “Our team was able to integrate technical skills they have learned in their CIS courses with their overall business knowledge to provide a comprehensive solution.”
Making real world connections
Throughout the case competition, Travelers works to make the event as close to a real business presentation as possible for the students participating. Xu explains that, when they participate in these simulations, many Bentley students are surprised that what they are learning in the classroom is so closely aligned with the business problems organizations are looking to solve.
“Sometimes students are concerned that what their undergraduate studies are not going to be useful in the real world,” says Xu. “It isn’t until students participate in case competitions and complete internships that they realize the majority of the technical and interpersonal skills they learn are essential to their success.”
For junior Olivia von Oldenburg, this year’s competition gave her a taste of the work she will be completing at her internship this summer. “Next summer I will be working at RSM as a technology and management consulting intern, so it was wonderful that this experience gave me an inside look at what I might be doing as a consultant.”
Throughout the day, students also had the opportunity to sit in on panel discussions with employees from Travelers and meet a few Bentley alumni who work for the organization.
About the competition
2016 marked the fourth year Bentley was invited to participate in the Travelers Insurance annual case competition. Each fall, the company invites a number of colleges and universities throughout New England to send one team comprised of four participants. The teams are given three weeks from the day they receive their case study to research, draft a solution and present findings to a panel of Travelers’ executives.
Bentley works with CIS faculty and the Office of Undergraduate Career Services to identify students who would are interested in the competition. Invitations are primarily targeted to CIS majors and minors.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Bentley No. 2 among regional universities in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, up from No. 3 last year, highlighting Bentley’s high-quality faculty and academic programs along with the strong value that students receive from a Bentley education.