The Directors of Aurora WDC are proud to announce the winners of the 2015 Jim Mathews Award for Intelligence Excellence
Lisel Douglas is a Carleton University graduate with a B.A. in Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies who is currently pursuing graduate studies in Marketing Research and Business Intelligence at Algonquin College (AC), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Her AC program’s curriculum emphasizes the marketing research process, from initial project scoping through to developing conclusions that will inform business decisions, including research design, questionnaire construction, moderator’s guide construction, data collection, database construction, basic and intermediate statistical analysis and interpretation, report writing skills, online market research, web-based analytics and, of course, competitive intelligence. Lisel is very active in volunteer leadership activities in addition to being a top student.
“Why are you interested in pursuing a career in an intelligence-related field?”
During my undergraduate degree in Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies at Carleton University, I realized I had a penchant for research. However, as a result-oriented individual, I wanted to be able to making direct changes and observe the results of these efforts. I knew that I loved examining situations, taking them apart, identifying and defining the components, and after understanding what they are, figuring out what to do with this information.
If I could use a quote to best encapsulate how I approach problems, I would use what I think is a well-known one from Albert Einstein: “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask; for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”
Now that may be an unlikely situation—one hour to solve a problem that my life depended on— but it does accurately convey how much emphasis I place on understanding the nature of a problem. It is, in my opinion, the foundation for developing the best strategies and solutions for success.
Business Intelligence appeals to me because it is an opportunity to see direct change take place in an organization. I specifically want to be involved in strategy, and in the development of optimal, efficient and profitable internal processes. The development of these strategies and solutions depend on intelligence—the collection of information and yielding of insights into the present and future nature of things. Even in my daily life I spend much of my time trying to find the best way to get something done, as well as facilitate self-growth through interaction and learning from others. I see organizations as being able to operate internally and externally in the same way.
“What does winning the Mathews Award mean to/for you?”
I am by nature a critical thinker, and regardless of the field I am in, I constantly question and analyze the present state of things. I am aware that things are always evolving, changing, and being redefined and I want to be a part of that through sharing my views, and exchanging ideas with others. I have gained much more confidence as I have seen that my opinions can have value and can make impact. Winning this award not only validates that aspect of myself and my capacity to act in the real world, but provides me with the impetus to build professionally on something I enjoy, and to improve upon what I have learned. Additionally, I know that with the award I have the chance to present my paper to industry professionals, and to network with CI practitioners. This gives me the invaluable opportunity to grow both personally, and professionally, and to push myself to make improvements on the ideas that I have already shared in my paper.
Monica Perez is finishing her Bachelor of Arts (Business/Competitive Intelligence) and her Bachelor of Arts (Accounting) at Mercyhurst University (MU), Erie, Pennsylvania, USA. A top student, she is the Treasurer of the MU Competitive Intelligence Club and actively involved in the university’s SCIP student chapter. Monica is an entry level competitive intelligence analyst with accounting skills and diverse project experiences. Her key responsibilities have comprised research and analysis as well as written and oral presentations. These projects and responsibilities have led to strong leadership skills as well as beneficial experience with competitor profiling using several methods including a 10K accounting analysis and deep OSINT research among others.
Why are you interested in pursuing a career in an intelligence-related field?
I first came in contact with the intelligence field during my freshman year at Mercyhurst University. My roommate was an intelligence major and one day she asked me to help her study for one of her intelligence class’s exam. I helped her and realized that I enjoyed to learn the things that she was studying for; it sparked my interest and therefore, I decided to speak with an intelligence professor. I spoke with Professor Shelly Freyn and she told me about the opportunity there was to not just be an intelligence major but to be a business competitive intelligence major. I went back to my dorm and researched about it and I realized it was something I could try in an attempt to find what my true vocation was. I decided to give it a chance and took some of the introductory classes. After these, I ended realizing I really liked what I learned and especially what I did for one of the class’s projects, which was a country study. That’s when I changed my major and knew I wanted to pursue a career in business competitive intelligence. I enjoyed the research side of it a lot and also realized I really liked putting pieces of a puzzle together and then analyzing what was the significance of each piece. I have enjoyed my courses’ projects and have learned various things from them.
What does winning the Mathews Award mean to/for you?
Winning the Jim Mathews Award means a lot to me. One of the most important things is that it is an incentive that inspires me to never give up when I really want something because at the end, hard work does pay off. I won’t forget the feeling I got after I read Dr. Fleisher’s email stating that I have been chosen as a recipient of the award. That email certainly made my day better. I was floored with excitement and immediately shared the news with my family and closest friends. I believe in positive reinforcement, and therefore, winning something after working for it with determination, creates a very rewarding emotion. It is something that can feed one’s confidence, motivation and self-esteem. In the future, if I ever need an extra push or moment of inspiration when completing a task, I will remember this moment. I will recall the feeling I got when I realized that my hard work paid off and I will be inspired to never give up. In addition, winning this award is more than an honor to me. It is very dignifying to be part of this and to have the opportunity to meet and network with CI professionals during the SCIP conference.
Aurora WDC is delighted to announce the latest edition of a special award for university students that memorializes a long-time contributor to the corporate intelligence world, Mr. James (Jim) Mathews.
Aurora first introduced this award four years ago in memory and acknowledgement of the lasting professional contributions to the field of competitive intelligence (CI) made by Mr. Mathews, who passed away in October 2011.
Having known Jim for nearly a decade, we viewed him as exemplifying the “gold standard” in terms of professionalism in the business and competitive intelligence arena. More so, he always loved to speak to students about entering and making a career out of the intelligence profession, and what a noble pursuit it was.
Here’s our original announcement video from the first year: