Student team wins second annual UNH DataJam with Liberty Mutual

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
The winning student team poses with Dean Deborah Merrill-Sands, Department of Decision Sciences chair Roger Grinde, and faculty member Jing Wang.

The winning DataJam team poses with DataJam faculty, Paul College's dean and their Liberty Mutual employee mentor. Back row, from left: Roger Grinde and Colin Rose; middle row, from left: Jenna Bachrach, Deborah Merrill-Sands, Luna Khadka, Jing Wang; front row, from left: Serina Brenner and Erin Frost.

The winning student team at last week’s UNH DataJam with Liberty Mutual wants to make your insurance experience much like your academic one — complete with meetings with a personal advisor.

Business administration students Serina Brenner '17, Colin Rose '18, Erin Frost '18 and Jenna Bachrach '18 won the daylong competition. They broke down insurance into bundles for different periods of life and tied these bundles to one-on-one meetings with an advisor.

The team presented sample bundles including the college graduate bundle, the new family bundle and the retirement bundle. The idea is that an insurance advisor would help consumers choose which insurance to include. The team also introduced a new type of insurance for millennials, electronic insurance, which would cover the cost of replacing items like phones, computers, smartwatches and gaming systems.

During the event’s opening, Deborah Merrill-Sands, dean of the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, stressed the importance of providing students with opportunities to apply what they are learning in the classroom to real-world problems.

“The DataJam is a perfect example of what we are emphasizing for our students at Paul College. We are engaging with businesses to provide a rich array of real-world experiential learning opportunities that reinforce classroom academics. This type of hands-on learning is powerful, and it helps to prepare our students to compete successfully for great jobs upon graduation,” she said. 

This was the second year for the annual competition that pairs teams of UNH Paul College students studying information systems and business analytics with a Liberty Mutual employee mentor and real sets of data. With the help of their mentors, the teams compete to solve problems using these data sets to produce visual data, analytics and practical application of their findings. This year, the teams also were challenged to create a new insurance product aimed at millennials.

Thirteen teams of between three and five students each participated in this year’s competition. After spending four hours working with data sets and coming up with their products, the teams pitched their products and findings to a panel of industry judges.

Brenner, Rose, Frost and Bachrach’s hard work earned them each $50 Amazon gift cards. Caley Prunier '18, Sam Werman '18 and Thomas Grant '19 each received $25 Amazon gift cards for their second-place team finish. Third-place team members Lauren Donahue '19, Emily Grone '18, Joseph Leahy '18, Krysten Provencal '19 and Peter Shellenberger '17 each received $10 Aroma Joe’s gift cards.

The event serves as a hands-on way for students to get a glimpse of how what they’re learning in the classroom translates to a real-world career setting.

“If students can enter the workforce with these skills, versus learning these skills on day one in the workforce, it kind of gives them a sense of what’s expected in a Fortune-100 company,” says Matt Keane, director of enterprise technology at Liberty Mutual and coordinator of the DataJam for the last two years. “For us at Liberty, the ability to work with institutions to help spread that is invaluable.”

Whittney Gould | Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics | | 603-862-1704