Contest gives IT students real-world experience


    By Andrea Candrian

    Seniors majoring in information technology got a taste of the real world Monday, Feb. 9.

    The students presented their senior project proposals in teams to members of the Industrial Advisory Board who evaluated the proposals and let the students know if they would receive funding in a real world situation.

    The IAB members who appraised the proposals are former graduates of the IT program, and people who work in the technology industry.

    “These are people who are working in the industry doing what our graduates will be doing,” said Barry Lunt, professor for the senior projects course. “So, they”re the best thing to reality that we can find.”

    The presentations take place once a year for graduating seniors. This year, however, it is taking place twice because of the large number of graduates, said Lunt.

    Members of the IAB brought donations from their companies to award the winners, he said.

    “That money will be matched by the university and will be given back to the students for the projects that are the winners,” he said.

    The students won”t be notified of the winners until all the project criteria have been evaluated further.

    One of the five projects was a Web site designed for companies that do presentations away from their office.

    A student involved with that project, Steve Wood, 25, a senior from Houston, Tex., majoring in information technology, described his project not only as a Web site, but also as an event management system that allows companies to have a calendar scheduler of all their different events, notes and presentations.

    “Because we”re so new at this, we weren”t prepared for some of the questions that were asked,” he said. “But I think we got our ideas across and that was the point.”

    The ideas for the proposals started last month. The students brainstormed ideas and presented them to the faculty the second week of school.

    The students had to make their presentations as effective as possible in order to convince the faculty their projects had potential for success, Lunt said.

    The projects are a two-semester ordeal and must be completed and working flawlessly by June 10.

    Three more teams will be competing during Fall and Winter Semesters.

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