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IMC lecturer coaches NU team to Nielsen case competition success

Nothing but Net (Income), a team of four Northwestern students coached by IMC lecturer Marty Kohr, placed second in The Nielsen Company’s national case competition in Tampa Bay on Feb. 24.

Sophomores Masha Bovkun, Dan Charles, Tony Cisneros and James Wang competed against teams from New York University, the University of Florida and Cornell University, whose team won the competition after a long deliberation by the judges.

“We’re really glad that we made it tough for the judges,” Wang said.

The case competition, in its second year – and first year with Northwestern – asked competing teams to answer the question, “How should Nielsen measure social viewing to help our clients understand its impact and maximize advertising potential across platforms?”

Nothing But Net (Income) beat out 11 other Northwestern teams on Feb. 14 in the regional competition, judged by Nielsen employees and Northwestern faculty members, including IMC associate professors Tom Collinger and John Greening, IMC assistant professor Ashlee Humphreys, IMC lecturers Judy Franks, Randy Hlavac and Kohr, and journalism lecturer Rebecca Baldwin.

“Everyone at Nielsen exposed to our winning team and our other Wildcat teams came away with an even stronger perception of our students and their capabilities,” said Kohr, who helped prepare Nothing But Net (Income) for the national competition.

Bovkun and Charles, who are engineering students (Charles is also taking an IMC class with Tom Hayden), and Cisneros and Wang, who are both economics majors, plan to compete again next year in addition to participating in other case competitions.

“This competition was much more difficult than last year,” said Matt Wendel, an analyst at Nielsen who managed the regional competition at Northwestern. “I was extremely impressed by the quality of the students’ work.”