It Only Took Two

Guest Writer: Matthew Parker – ISE Senior

Senior Matthew Parker and sophomore John Corley placed third in the Deloitte Case Competition this weekend at the 2019 IISE Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, hosted by West Virginia University. NC State’s ISE team, dubbed the ‘Red Polos’, was the only team of two which competed against seven other teams of four students. West Virginia University finished first, followed by a Virginia Tech team.

The competition consisted of three rounds where Matthew and John worked to create a holistic tool which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could use to determine budget and resource allocations for FY2020 and beyond.

In the first round, teams had 45 minutes to create a project charter outlining how their solution will be implemented to utilize a hypothetical $1 million. Teams then raced a quarter-mile to another engineering building to prepare for round two. Matthew and John arrived third and received one bonus point, the first and second teams to arrive received three and two points respectively.

Teams then had one hour to analyze four data sets and create a dashboard which would be presented to executives. Matthew and John created a mock dashboard with active data, displaying statistics such as average dollars spent per person with a drop-down option to filter by region or disaster type. Other charts displayed the average number of disasters per season and their average cost. Matthew and John knew they needed to hurry. They quickly submitted their dashboard and ran another quarter mile to round three. They were the first to arrive. This awarded them three bonus points.

Matthew and John could now only wait while the Deloitte consultants graded each teams submissions from round one and two and tallied the scores, plus bonus points. The top three teams would then create a presentation for ‘FEMA executives”. Team ‘Red Polos’ tied for third. The tiebreaker came down to bonus points, of which Matthew and John had four, advancing them to the final round!

Teams then had only 25 minutes to create an 8-minute presentation. Matthew and John then presented to all of the teams and the ‘FEMA executives’ who were other Deloitte employees. Team ‘Red Polos’ took third prize.

When asked how they were able to excel, in true NC State tradition, Matthew replied, “John thought, and I did, and together, we were extraordinary.”