WEB EXTRA: Business school groups compete to improve commercial venues

School of Business undergraduates presented strategies for improving businesses using information and technology in a bi-annual competition last week in Duques hall.

Students in various sections of the school’s introductory administration class worked last semester to develop a mock strategy to alleviate a problem facing businesses or society. Each class’s top group faced off in the Duques Hall competition Friday in front of a panel of faculty and School of Business alumni.

Professor Steven J. Mandelbaum, who teaches a course in information technology and organized the competition, helped organize the event and said he hopes to make it a national competition one day.

“(It is a ) semester long project that challenges students to pick a problem facing business or society and find ways to use information and technology to solve or improve it in a way that hasn’t been done before,” he said.

The nine groups participating Friday tackled such issues as combating credit card fraud, decreasing staff in restaurants by using automated waiters and reducing wait time in cafes.

Other projects included new business strategies for Continental Airlines, as well as a program in which hotel guests can check in via credit card by finding their names on a large screen in the lobby.

The students’ presentations, each approximately 20 minutes long, were met with questions, comments and critiques from a panel of judges, almost all of whom were recent graduates of the school.

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