Senior Business Competitive Intelligence and Finance major, Nhi Tran was chosen as one of the two winners of the Jim Mathews Award and Fellowship for Intelligence Excellence.
Tran will travel to Madison, Wis. from April 19-21 to an award ceremony hosted by research and intelligence company Aurora WDC. She will present her research in a 15-minute presentation to a group of industry professionals and potential employers.
“I consider it one of my biggest achievements. It’s a recognition for my hard work and commitment and it proves my passion to competitive intelligence,” Tran said.
Tran learned about the competition through her work in the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis & Training as part of the intelligence program. Through CIRAT, she worked with multiple contractors and delivered daily competitive intelligence reports.
She was picked from over a dozen students in the U.S. and six other countries. Four winners moved on to the interview round and two were chosen afterward to receive the final award.
“I think I am really good in doing research and analyzing open source information, and from there, figuring out the trends of macro and microeconomics. I love coming up with strategies and solutions to how the company can avoid surprises and gain a competitive advantage over competitors,” Tran said.
Tran wrote an essay on the applications of social media in the competitive intelligence practice. The essay focused on the benefits analysts receive from using social media.
“My essay is about what is social media and what are some of the benefits that social media analyst receive in the CI practice,” Tran said.
In her essay, she explains the analytical tools that can be used to analyze social media in order to know more about a company’s competitors. Tran then sought to define social media and talk about the advantages of social media for individual firms.
“Through social media, what do you know about your competitors in terms of their customers, their management and their operations?” said Tran.
“The topic itself is quite interesting for me. They asked me to talk about six things that executives need to know about social media in terms of CI practice. So I came up with six things that may help them.”
At the conference, Tran will listen to speakers from different industries talk about how they apply CI practices in their firms.
“It is a great opportunity to network and meet new people,” said Tran.
“The biggest opportunity is learning CI experiences from CI experts. It’s a great opportunity for jobs.”
Until her trip, Tran will proofread her essay to prepare for her presentation and get ready to travel.
“I am so excited to be there, because I’ll be traveling and I’ll get to meet a new city,” Tran said.