Project Gives MIS Students Edge in Biz of High Tech
Published on December 7, 2011
Support from Accenture Leads to Highly Successful Inaugural Semester,
Plans Underway for Spring 2012 Project and Partnership Opportunities
Words like Google, Facebook and Twitter have made it into popular vernacular, thanks to a second wave of technology-based businesses over the past several years.
Now, students at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business are getting the opportunity to surf that wave through experiential learning in two undergraduate management information system courses.
Paul Pennington, a clinical assistant professor in the college’s Department of Decision & Information Sciences, kicked off a technology project competition in Fall 2011 for students in MIS 4374 and MIS 4379, in partnership with Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company with offices in Houston.
Accenture brought in more than 10 professionals from the organization, who worked extensively with students to develop technology solutions for real companies and non-profits. Nearly 50 UH Bauer students participated in the competition, each working on a four-person team.
“All of the projects are live projects, with a variety of organizations, requiring technology consulting and implementation,” Pennington said. “The projects come from a variety of different technological needs, including websites, e-commerce, databases, security, disaster recovery, ERP installation and accounting.”
The inaugural semester of the competition was a success not only because it addressed relevant issues in both technology and business, but also because it gave students the opportunity to apply what they were learning in the classroom in very tangible ways, he added.
“It is very important for the students to understand the relationship and play the role of client manager, project manager and developer, and understand the importance of communication between the team and the client,” Pennington said. “The student gets a better understanding of the importance of timely delivery and the return on a technology investment.”
With the success of the competition in its first year of existence, Pennington is hoping that the technology industry will become more invested in the competition and help fund a $5,000 award for the student team judged as the best next semester. As plans are being made for the Spring 2012 competition, Pennington is looking for companies that would like to be involved, funding $100, $300 or $500 to contribute to the overall winning team award, or to be considered as one of the projects.
“Every semester we expect to have a closing competition, with 10 to 12 teams entering, refining the final competition to four teams, and then proceeding to a final award on competition,” Pennington added. “The final competition night includes a 15-minute presentation by each team, in front of senior partners, partners, and consultants at the Accenture office, where they determine the winner based on communication, project delivery and client impact.”
For more information on the Spring 2012 technology project competition, contact Pennington at email@example.com. Information on how to contribute to the Spring 2012 grand prize can be found on this page in the red box.
By Amanda Sebesta