Tournament Tested

More high-scoring student efforts in project management and monetary policy.

Managing to Compete

OK, hit the buzzer if you know this one. When planning team development activities, what input would you use to identify when the team members can participate?

Last December, 10 business students traveled to Chatham University in Pittsburgh to compete in the Project Management Competition, which put teams from nine universities head-to-head in demonstrating the knowledge needed to manage large information technology projects. When all the points were tallied, Marquette’s two teams had beaten their competitors to the correct answer enough times to take second and third place in the team competition. Sabrina Thomas, Bus Ad ’18, and senior Kevin Lipuma also placed second and third respectively in individual competitions. “The Jeopardy-style format is fun, but it’s also a real test of their overall knowledge. And it’s great preparation because the questions mirror the ones they will have to face on their Project Management Professional certification exam,” says Kurt Gering, adjunct instructor of project management and coach/ chaperone for the event.

Lipuma says his Pittsburgh success helped convince him to take the Certi ed Associate in Project Management exam. And Thomas calls the event “an awesome way to prepare for the Project Management final that semester. And it made it a lot easier to find the integrations project management has into every area of business.”

Selling the Role

In today’s presentation, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston will be played by Michael Dennison; the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will be played by Philip Suess; and Governor Lael Brainard will be played by Cathy Gong. No, these aren’t playbill listings from a The Fed Goes Broadway theatre performance, but part of Marquette’s lineup from last November’s Fed Challenge, a competition that combines economics acumen with acting ability.

The Marquette Fed Challenge team with their advisor, 
Dr. Stephen Cole (2nd from left).

In the weeks before the event, the students not only developed their analysis of current economic conditions and monetary policy recommendations, but also tried on the roles of important monetary policymakers in dry runs of their 15-minute presentations and similar-length Q&A sessions to follow. In the rehearsals, questions from faculty members such as Dr. Stephen Cole, assistant professor of economics, would occasionally produce signs of discomfort — a gulp or wide-eyed pause. But by the time the contest rolled around, the practice paid off; Dennison and Gong, both Bus Ad ’18, Suess, a senior, and other team members performed convincingly, placing fourth out of 17 schools in the region.

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