A gold medal.

W. P. Carey student club wins two awards at national leadership conference

The Department of Information Systems Club (DISC) builds professional development skills while giving back to the community.

Molly Loonam

Rishi Saxena (BS Business Data Analytics/Computer Information Systems '24) joined W. P. Carey's Department of Information Systems Club (DISC) as a first-year student in the fall of 2020.

"ASU courses were mostly online due to the pandemic, and I was looking for ways to get involved," says Saxena. He enjoyed the club so much that he added computer information systems as his second major.

Now the club's outgoing president, Saxena assisted the DISC leadership board with planning professional and social events during his tenure and coordinated two teams of eight DISC students that competed at this spring's Association for Information Systems (AIS) Leadership Conference in Logan, Utah. The annual event connects DISC chapters around the U.S. for competitions, luncheons, workshops, and networking events with peers and industry professionals. The team was honored with the AIS Outstanding Professional Development award and took third place in the Dare Mighty Innovations: Innovating for Impact competition.

"Everyone had a great experience bonding and exploring with student leaders from universities across the nation," says Saxena.

"ASU develops professionals. Compared to other teams, we prepared and delivered our presentation well," says Natalie Alexander (BS Computer Information Systems/Supply Chain Management '25), who attended the competition alongside Saxena, Srishti Garg (BS Computer Information Systems/Supply Chain Management '25), Reva Sakalkale (BS Computer Information Systems/Business Data Analytics '25), Kushi Wadhwani (BS Business Data Analytics '26), Phong Quach (BS Business Data Analytics '26), Anastasia Eger (BS Business Data Analytics '27), Anushayana Pant (BS Finance/Computer Information Systems '26), Nihal Munoor (BS Computer Information Systems '26), and DISC faculty advisor Clinical Associate Professor of Information Systems Andres Diaz Lopez.

Garg, Sakalkale, Wadhwani, and Quach competed against 60 teams in the highly selective Dare Mighty Innovations competition, winning $1,000 as a team. For several months before the conference, teams developed an innovative solution to a problem that would positively impact a business, industry, or society while leveraging large language models (LLMs). The W. P. Carey DISC team presented a proof of concept for a navigational app called Navi that incorporates augmented reality and LLMs to help users navigate crowded indoor spaces like malls or airports.

Saxena says the judges were critical of the team's prototypes and technology but complimented Navi's design.

"The judges were impressed with the detail that went into Navi's creation and how it differentiated from competitors like Google Maps or Apple Maps," he says. "I'm proud of how the team worked together and represented ASU in this tough competition."

The team was also honored with the AIS Outstanding Professional Development award for the events they hosted on campus during the 2022-23 school year, including a career mixer with over 30 representatives from 15 companies, including Paradox, Deloitte, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the Secret Code of Business event where DISC volunteers educated over 90 middle school students from the Greater Phoenix Area on computer information systems and business data analytics.

"Students build professional skills, but there's also a service side. We use what we've learned to give back," says Alexander.

DISC has over 50 active student members and prioritizes career development, leadership, collaboration, and community involvement by engaging with industry speakers, community service, workshops, and networking. The club also offers internship opportunities and a mentorship program.

"Being a first-year student away from home can be daunting," says Alexander, who mentors two first-year DISC members by sharing her internship experiences, recommending career fairs, and providing interview, resume, and study tips. "It's important to recognize the wealth of opportunities we have for students on campus. Not only is DISC fun, but it's a way to learn and meet other people doing great things."

Learn more about DISC.

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