New Professional Enhancement, Gamification-Style Challenge for Business Analytics Grad Students

Students in the Business Analytics and Project Management master's degree program (MSBAPM) will have the opportunity to compete in a new professional enhancement, gamification-style challenge.

Fun-Filled Professional Enhancement Challenges Will Highlight Student Accomplishments, Strengthen Resumes

Students in the Business Analytics and Project Management master’s degree program (MSBAPM) will have the opportunity to compete in a new professional enhancement, gamification-style challenge.

Those who excel in the contest will be eligible for small scholarships to be applied toward future study. And even those who don’t reach the top of the leader board will have impressive additions to their resume.

This is the first semester that the CoMPAS challenge has been offered and Professor Ram Gopal, OPIM department head, said he believes it will be a professional game-changer for students.

“The technology landscape is changing rapidly and dramatically. We have to prepare our technology-versed students to be ‘business ready,'” Gopal said. “Our curriculum is fantastic, but they can’t learn everything they need to know to be successful exclusively from the classroom.”

Students will be awarded points for completing certain challenges, including taking specialized online courses; writing technology articles; assisting with faculty projects; competing in data challenges; attending or conducting workshops; developing communications skills through the campus Toastmasters International club; volunteering, or mentoring other students.

Participation is voluntary but highly encouraged and is open to the approximately 400 students in the MSBAPM program in Hartford and Stamford. MBA candidates are also invited to participate. A public leader board will show the students’ progress.

“We want to give them an opportunity—a roadmap really—of how to get ready to excel both personally and professionally,” Gopal said. “I’m convinced that this will be a game-changer for our students.”

Meghan Hanrahan, associate director of the MSBAPM program, said word had already gotten out about the competition last semester, and students were intrigued.

“Our students are extremely motivated and competitive, and we already know that this program is generating a great deal of excitement among them,” Hanrahan said.

“Many of our students have participated in these challenges and in the past we just gave them a pat on the back,” Gopal said. “This program will make them aware of the many things they can do to enhance their education. They can customize the path they want to take, based on their professional passions and goals.

“The intrinsic motivation is key,” he continued. “When they go out seeking internships and jobs, they can mention their high ranking on the leader board, which will highlight their drive and qualifications.”

As they complete challenge requirements, the students can earn badges that will eventually be added to their LinkedIn profiles.

The CoMPAS acronym stands for communication, mentoring, problem-solving, ambassadorship and skill enhancement. The initiative has been two years in the making, with input from faculty, students, career advisers and more. All program submissions will be reviewed by a faculty oversight board before points are awarded.

“We think this new form of engagement with our students is both creative and innovative and will further differentiate our program,” Hanrahan said. “We are continually looking at new ways to ’round out’ our student experiences and find opportunities for them to build upon. Most of these experiences are things that our students have explored in the past, but now we’re giving them credit for these achievements and explaining to those who haven’t taken advantage of them that we think they are critically important,” she said.

“Our students’ resumes will boast a prestigious, advanced analytics degree and experiential learning that is highly valuable to our corporate partners,” she said.

Additional information will soon be available on the MSBAPM program web site.