IST students gain real-life consulting experience in Deloitte competition

Students at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) with an interest in a consulting career recently had an opportunity to learn about the profession, hone their problem-solving skills, and make valuable business contacts.

The third annual Deloitte IST Case Study Challenge, hosted by Deloitte Consulting, was held March 26. The Challenge is a competition in which students are given a fictitious case by high-level executives from Deloitte, which provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial services with more than 200,000 professionals in over 150 countries. The students, who competed on seven teams of four to five students each, were given the case study on March 20 and were given six days to prepare a solution to the problem.

“The students gain real-life practice at solving problems for a business,” said Rita Griffith, corporate relations coordinator for the Office of Career Solutions & Corporate Engagement. “They have to figure out all the steps on their own.”

The problems that the students devised solutions for, Griffith said, were mostly technological in nature. One of the case studies involved resolving the issues of an acquisition of one gym by another.

“When we received the study, I was surprised by the breadth of the challenge,” said David Martin, web consultant for the IST Consulting Group and a member of Elite Four, the first-place-winning team. “The problem presented went far beyond my previous experiences with IT consulting on the Penn State club level. Our team dove headfirst into the material and spent countless hours in the IST building researching and developing our solution.”

Koogun Na, a member of CSD, the second-place winner, described the Deloitte Case Study Challenge as a “brilliant experience to learn about the world of consulting.”

In addition to winning cash prizes and gaining valuable consulting experience, Griffith said, the students who compete in the Challenge have the benefit of networking with Deloitte executives. Several students have taken positions at the company as a result of their participation in the competition in past years.

“Overall, the experience was second to none and I am extremely glad that I made the decision to participate,” Martin said. “If I had another year of eligibility, I would not hesitate to do it again and would recommend the competition to any underclassmen interested in the IT consulting profession.”

The winners of the 2014 Deloitte Case Study Challenge are as follows:

First Place

Elite Four

  Daniel Servich   
  Madison Q. Oliver   
  Zachary A. Mullins   
  David Martin 

Second Place


  Ashley Harris   
  Koogun Na   
  Damira Kulakhmetova   
  Steven Yencho   
  Steven M. Vannelli 

Third Place

Tech Swag

  Stephen Senick   
  Evan M. Friedenberg   
  Anil Yelamarty   
  Alexander V. Young

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Last Updated April 09, 2014