A Carlson School MIS team earned second place at the Traveler’s annual case competition on Friday, November 4, at Traveler’s campus in St. Paul. Team members include Clyde Carver, Amy Olsen, Emma Marion, and Stephanie Shrider.

This year’s case asked students to examine the technology used in Traveler’s catastrophe vans and make recommendations to increase the vans’ internet connectivity and overall effectiveness. The Carlson School team made a three-pronged strategic recommendation that not only addressed bandwidth in the field, but also improved connectivity with customers by attending to the mental health needs of those affected by disaster. Traveler’s commended the Carlson School team for its vision and noted that the decision was tough, with only a few points separating first and second place.

This team is one of two Carlson School MIS teams. It is known as the Vancouver team, as its main event is to be the CaseIT competition at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver next February. Case IT is the oldest and most well-known MIS case competition. A second Carlson School team is known as the Singapore team, as it will travel there in May to compete at APEX, a MIS-themed case competition that values deep analysis and usually includes a local Asian dimension to the case. Members of the Singapore team include Carston Hernke, Keon Garvin, Nicolette Clairmont, and Konnor Slaats. The Vancouver and Singapore teams will compete against each other in practice rounds to prepare them for their international events.

This year, over 50 percent more undergraduate students applied to the teams than in any previous year. The process is a grueling one. Candidates first attend a “Case 101” preparation seminar during the week before tryouts. Then, candidates receive a technology-focused business case, custom written by IDS faculty and volunteers for the tryout event. Candidates then have 24 hours to prepare and present their proposal to a panel of industry judges. The judges then deliberate and choose the two teams to represent Carlson MIS in international competition.

Close to 30 volunteers pulled together to make tryouts a rousing success. Volunteers this year include Executive Advisory Board members, industry volunteers, and case team alumni. Special thanks goes to retired Senior Lecturer Corrie Fiedler for volunteering a tremendous amount of time and wisdom to ensure things went smoothly. Also, special thanks goes to Executive Office and Administrative Specialist Ashley Furstonberg in the Information and Decision Sciences office for her support.