Thursday, September 1, 2016

UC San Diego Engineering Student Wins First Place Overall at Target Team Hackathon

August 18-20, 2016, Target hosted a three-day Diversity Leadership Symposium, inviting undergraduate students across the nation to collaborate and devise strategies to address diversity and inclusion in the retail industry. Tony Melano-Gonzales, a transfer student and senior computer science major at UC San Diego, was invited to apply after a recruiter saw his profile on Piazza.

Gonzales learned about engineering careers in merchandising as well as advancements in finance and technology. In addition to panels, networking sessions, and workshops, he participated in Target’s case study hackathon and won first place with his team of four.

Target’s hackathon challenged competitors to develop an application that engages guests both inside and outside the store. The teams had to complete their hack within a three-hour time frame. In particular, the participants were to focus on the millennial market, including styling and baby products.

Gonzales and his teammates created Wishbone, a native Facebook chatbot that transforms ordinary situations into consumer products.

Gonzales explains, “Sometimes you go to Target and you know exactly what you want - shoes, Advil, a new backpack - but other times, you just want to stop by on the way to the beach, the movies, etc. With Wishbone, users can ask ‘What do I need for the beach?’ or say ‘I'm throwing a baby shower’ and the application connects them with real relevant products.”

Users may browse the recommended list, add their desired products to their cart, and check out on Target’s website — all with the chatbot Wishbone.

The first-place application garnered Gonzales $2000 in rewards to continue his journey here at the Jacobs School of Engineering. Many congratulations to Gonzales!

No comments:

Post a Comment