Month: October 2017

Alumni Networking Dinner 2017

On Wednesday, October 25, the Operations and Information Management Department (OPIM), held its 2nd annual Networking Dinner. This dinner is held for UConn School of Business Management Information Systems (MIS), Business Data Analytics (BDA), and Business Technology students, past and present, in order to enhance their networking skills and connect with people of similar backgrounds and interests.

This year’s Networking Dinner was held at UConn’s Graduate Business Learning Center in Downtown Hartford, where students, faculty, and alumni participated in a dinner similar to speed dating. At the dinner, alumni and faculty take their seats, and students move  from table to table in between each course to speak to a new set of alumni. This networking method not only helped break the ice, but allowed for students to talk to more alumni in a structured setting.

Calvin Mahlstedt (’19) a junior MIS major, emphasized the importance of networking, not only for getting internships and jobs, but also for gaining valuable insight towards what others in the field have experienced and accomplished.

Each student attended the networking event for different reasons, some for insight on what alumni have experienced and others to hear about what the alumni have accomplished. However to many students, the largest benefit is being able to establish a connection with alumni for job opportunities and potential career paths after graduation.

A senior MIS student, Alex Martinez (’18),  was happy to have attended the networking dinner because of  the valuable connection he made. During one of his table rotations, Mr. Martinez met John Calabrese, an alumni who works at Travelers. Calabrese advocates for the program that he will be entering post graduation and Martinez is excited to have a connection when he makes that transition.

As the benefits for current student are evident, the event was also an opportunity for alumni to stay up to date on the advancements the department has made. During the dinner, the MIS Academic Director Jonathan Moore updated the audience on OPIM Innovate, a departmental initiative for experiential learning with emerging technology. He encouraged the alumni to become involved with teaching, workshops, and mentoring students within the department.


Predictive Modeling Workshop

On Friday, October 27, the UConn Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Department conducted a workshop on predictive modeling. This workshop is one of the technology workshops that the department is conducting in order to enhance the  OPIM Innovate Initiative.

OPIM adjunct Professor Marshall Doughtery, a Management Information Systems (MIS) graduate, was the facilitator of the workshop and currently teaches courses on data and text mining, and SAS Analytics. In this workshop, Marshall explained predictive modeling and its real world applications. He also introduced the audience to SAS and SAS JMP. SAS is an analytics software and SAS JMP is a product that focuses on building data models and predictive analytics.

“Predictive modeling is a process that uses data and algorithms to predict outcomes,” said Professor Doughtery, and its influence in the field is growing daily. Being able to utilize these predictive modeling skills is important because data science is one of the “fastest growing and important fields in the job market,” Once students have this skill set, they will become one of the most wanted candidates for jobs. Therefore, the more exposure OPIM Innovate and the rest of the department can give its students, the better they will be prepared for the future.

Learning the basics is helpful, but what set apart this workshop was the hands on experience students were able to receive. Gyuho Song, a UConn graduate student studying Material Science Engineering, has been coming to the Innovate workshops since last semester. Although Song is not in the School of Business, he emphasized the importance of predictive modeling and being able to truly understand it before using it. Having an activity during the workshop not only enhances the students’ focus, but it allows students to apply the knowledge they’ve learned. Song said that the interactive aspect of the workshop was his favorite part because he was amazed at how he could learn about predictive modeling and apply his newfound knowledge all within ninety minutes.

Although it is challenging to include all the important topics in a ninety minute workshop, Professor Doughtery felt pleased with the outcome, as most students were engaged and invested.

The next workshop will be held on Friday, November 3, on Unity Virtual Reality Programming in the OPIM Gladstein Lab on the third floor of the School of Business.

MIS Case Competition 2017

On Friday September 29th the Operations and Information Management Department (OPIM) held  their annual Management Information Systems (MIS) Case Competition. A total of 10 teams, each consisting of 4 students, presented their business case solutions to a panel of 3 faculty judges. Each team was given 20 minutes to present their solution and another 10 minutes to answer any of the judges questions.

Not only MIS but multiple majors from the School of Business were represented. The department was extremely please to see students from every class standing participating as well. IMA President and senior Tyler Lauretti says, “it’s awesome to see freshman specifically already getting involved in these competitions. Sooner than not they’ll be running IMA and paving the way for future MIS majors so it’s great that they’re gaining experience this early”. The team ‘NextGen Consulting’, entirely compromised of freshman, also all attested to how the competition was both rewarding and beneficial for them.

The teams spent an entire week researching different types of software and educating themselves on to their highest capability. Belma Pehratovic shared how she initially felt extremely nervous about presenting, however she reflected on a moment of reassurance during her presentation, “I was talking about a software I did not know prior to this week, and I saw someone, who is incredibly educated on the topic, nodding and confirming that my points were correct. It’s such a great experience that not only expanded my knowledge but also gave me new sense of confidence”. Pehratovic’s fellow teammate, Victoria Trautman, thought the competition was eyeopening in the fact that it reassured her, a young female professional, that she had the ability to study, research, and eloquently talk about IT related topics such as this.

Freshman Alexander Zevin spoke candidly about his first case competition experience, “it was a challenge to produce an innovative and feasible solution to present to the judges. We spent many hours researching various emerging technologies that could play a role in solving the University’s unique set of goals. Throughout the week of the competition, we would meet to discuss our findings and truly gain an understanding of the technologies we wanted to bring to the University”.

At the Awards Luncheon on Friday, October 6th the top three teams were announced. . Team “NextGen Consulting”: Alexander Zevin, Alexander Gmuer, Ali Taouil, and Rashad Lum You took first place and were each awarded $500. “Dream Team”: Victoria Trautman, Belma Pehratovic, Chris Connelly, and Joel Thomas took second place and were each awarded $250. “Girl Bosses”: Hannah Bonitz, Radhika Kanaskar, Maggie Howie, and Olivia Villecco took third place and were each awarded $125. All teams received certificates and gift bags as a thank you for participating.



Stamford PySpark Workshop

On Friday, October 6th at 12pm there will be a PySpark Workshop taking place on the Stamford campus.

Participants of the workshop can expect to see the following:

  1. Basic Installation of Spark and Python
  2. Interaction with Pyspark Shell ( How pyspark works?)
  3. Spark Basics and Simple Examples
  4. Basics of working with Data and RDD’s
  5. Transformation and Actions in Apache spark
  6. SparkSQL, Dataframes
  7. Using Libraries with spark( Using Dataframes with Mllib)

You can register at: 

We look forward to seeing you there!