A group of Marriott School students at Brigham Young University took top marks during a national information systems competition held by the Association of Information Technology Professionals in Memphis, Tenn.
“This competition allows students to measure themselves against some of the best in the nation,” says Rayman Meservy, associate professor of information systems and one of the team’s advisers. “Winning on a national level has given these students confidence in what they are learning every day as information systems majors.”
Taking first place in the systems analysis and database team contest were Scott Fitzgerald, Layton, Utah; and Artan Ismaili, Kosovo, Yugoslavia — both juniors in the information systems program. Reed Olsen, also a junior, from Weston, Mass., received honorable mention in the PC troubleshooting contest.
For the system analysis and database contest, the 24 participating teams were required to upgrade a software designed for auto repair shops to track inventory and orders, schedule tasks and support other business operations. The teams had to add new features to the software, including the capability for shops to have a 30-day trial of the software. In addition to creating diagrams and descriptions, the BYU team designed a prototype of the software — all within a four-hour limit.
“Artan and I had to really understand what the company was hoping to accomplish with the new features,” Fitzgerald says. “The time constraints and requirements represented what our experience would be after graduation, and we wanted to demonstrate that we were prepared for it.”
For the PC troubleshooting contest, Olsen had an hour to complete a written test of 100 questions covering topics of computer hardware and the Windows operating system. Out of 133 participants, only the top 10 qualified for the final round, where contestants had one hour to troubleshoot and fix a computer that had processing errors and hardware problems.
“Participating in the troubleshooting competition exposed me to a different dimension of information systems,” Olsen says. “This contest not only helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses but also to understand the opportunities available in this profession.”
Because the contests are held during the AITP National Collegiate Conference, students are exposed to leading industry organizations and professionals through breakout sessions and recruiting fairs. BYU has participated in this event since 2003 and has received high honors in a variety of contests every year.
The Marriott School is the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.
For this and other Marriott School news releases, visit the online newsroom at marriottschoool.byu.edu/news.
Writer: Irasema Romero