Month: October 2016

Student Spotlight – Marc Senatore (IMA Treasurer)


For Marc Senatore, treasurer of the Information Management Association (IMA), his passion for technology and pursuit of innovation started at a young age. I had the chance to talk with Marc about his role in IMA, his future goals, and the reason he chose to major in Management Information Systems (MIS).

Marc shared a story with me from when he was 14-years-old and his parents would not let him get an Xbox to play video games with his friends. Marc said he could not take “no” for an answer so he actively looked for ways around it. He learned about an alternative, PC gaming, but he said that he could not afford to buy himself a new computer at the time. Marc, then, tried to convince his parents to let him fix up their old Windows 98 Dell computer. After four months of negotiation and gathering of parts, Marc taught himself how to build a high-end computer.

Marc said that technology has always been something that he has enjoyed, which is why he chose to major in MIS. He said it allows him to be creative and innovative through various platforms – such as, gaming, graphic design, video editing, software, or hacking.

When asked about his favorite part of being involved in IMA, Marc said it is without a doubt the relationships he has formed as a result, along with free pizza at meetings.

Unfortunately, Marc said that he was unaware of IMA until his junior year when he joined, but he has been extremely involved ever since. Marc said he was able to get to where he is today within the organization through showing his interest and volunteering to help out as much as possible. Now as treasurer, he said that he has never been happier.

Marc highly encouraged all students who are interested to join IMA.“Technology is awesome. Information technology is no longer the support function in companies that it once was, it now drives most big businesses. Technology is already everywhere and everything, and it is only going to be expanding more…so why not be on the forefront of innovation?” He said.

Marc added that IMA is a great way for students to network with recruiters from many Fortune 500 companies and to engage in workshops involving different technologies – such as, 3D printing, introductory code, and data mining.

After graduation, Marc will be entering into Synchrony Financial’s prestigious Business Leadership Program. Specifically, Marc is in their two year rotational IT program where he will be working directly with senior leadership to gain exposure and knowledge about the business and information technology, as well as develop the leadership skills necessary to be in their shoes one day.

As for advice, Marc left a few words of wisdom that help him when he is having a bad day.

He quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson, saying, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

MIS Case Competition 2016

Following the Competition kick off meeting, eight teams registered to participate in the first annual MIS Case Competition, held by the Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department. Each team was made up of four students with a variety of majors within the School of Business, including at least one MIS student on each team. The teams had one week to prepare a solution to present in front of a panel of judges. The three judges, Shun-Yang Lee, Wei-kuang Huang, and Satvinder Mayall, were all faculty members from the OPIM Department.

img_0846The teams had 20 minutes to present their case solution, followed by a 10-minute Q&A session with the judges to clarify the details of their business plans. In the question and answer session, the judges challenged the students’ research to make sure they covered all the bases.

The competition was held in a closed room and the teams were not allowed to watch each other present to keep the competition fair, according to Jon Moore, the coordinator of the event. Professor Moore, the judges, student workers, and faculty in the department were the only ones in the room during the presentations.

The competition attracted students with varying experience in case competitions. Some students said they had never competed in one before, while others said they had competed multiple times. img_0841

One team in particular, the ROI’s, had experience competing in, and winning a case competition. The team won a marketing case competition this past spring, advancing them to a National competition in Indiana at the end of October. The ROI’s said that they participated in this competition to get more experience and practice their presentation skills before Nationals. Compared to previous case competitions, the ROI’s said that it was more ambiguous, making it more difficult to know exactly what the judges would be looking for. The team said that they had a few different routes that they thought they could have gone with their business solution. Ultimately, they decided on a plan that was very technology focused.

img_0833Members of Ideas R Us said they wished that they were able to watch the other teams’ presentations. One member, Vivek Tedla said that he likes to learn from others and wanted to see what they came up with. The group thought they covered everything, but Tedla said that other teams might have come up with something that they didn’t think of. The team noted that the question and answer portion was helpful in covering all the points that they wanted to present.

On the other hand, the Dynamic Dude(ttes), made up of all sophomores, said this was img_0829their first time participating in a case competition. They said it was a bit overwhelming, only having a week to prepare, but that it was a great experience to build on for future competitions.

Volunteers and student workers – Ryan O’Connor, Melissa Burk, Sarah Burdick, Taylor Begley, Alison Reilly, and Lejla Becarovic – assisted Professor Moore in making the event a success.

“I thought it was a really good turn out given it was our first attempt at an internal case competition. We’re planning on doing one each year to give students experience competing and presenting,” Professor Moore said.

One of the judges, Shun-Yang Lee said that he was very impressed by the students’ presentations. He said he was very interested to see the creative solutions that different teams came up with.

Lee said, “I would encourage all students to take advantage of opportunities such as the MIS case competition to build connections and practice problem solving and presentation skills. Most importantly, it is fun!” 

The top three teams will be announced at the Awards Luncheon this Friday, October 7th at 11:30 a.m.