University Connect-Cal Poly: Senior Project Success


teacher-giving-a-lecture-in-amphitheatre-picture-id1178699298 (1).jpgDecember marked the end of a successful year for the Anaplan University Connect Program—working in collaboration with universities across the U.S. to educate students and professors on the benefits of Anaplan and Connected Planning.

Senior Project

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly)’s senior project was a program highlight, featuring 10 undergraduate students from professor Leida Chens’ class. The students were divided into groups and competed to solve the key challenges of a publicly-traded consumer goods company (CPG) using Anaplan. The project was designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as **** communication, public speaking, research, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, and goal setting, all while learning a new skill set—Cal Poly Project KickoffCal Poly Project KickoffAnaplan model building and the Anaplan implementation process.

Three teams went head to head to solve the CPG’s pain points. With a challenging 10 weeks ahead of them, they began to train on model building and The Anaplan Way. Efforts focused on solving key challenges, including: 

  • Lack of centralized data, limiting accessibility to entire departments.
  • Insufficient communication on common goals.
  • Excessive time spent gathering and distributing data. 
  • Limited focus on data analysis. 

The students worked diligently towards a common goal—solve the challenges in a creative way, use Anaplan’s Best Practices, and ultimately win the competition!

During the project, students had the opportunity to connect with some of Anaplan's best and brightest, including Simon Tucker, Chief Planning Officer, and Joey Morisette, Business Operations Manager & Master Anaplanner. Working side by side and supporting each other, this talented group of individuals produced top-notch Anaplan models. Their work was impressive and inspiring—clearly demonstrating the value of Anaplan and Connected Planning, and while expanding the Anaplan ecosystem.

The winning team—Poly Planners—including Yash Ranat, Jasmine Valsaint, and Lia Arambula. Participants were scored in seven key areas:  

  • Effectiveness of solving the business challenge.
  • Usage of Anaplan’s Best Practices.
  • End-user experience.
  • Creativity.
  • Ability to communicate results.
  • Training completion.
  • Team synergy.

Cal Poly Alumni EventCal Poly Alumni EventWe want to thank all the students who participated in a job well done! 

Yash Ranat
Graduation: December 2020, MBA with a concentration in Information systems

Jasmine Valsaint
Graduation: March 2020, MBA with a concentration in Information systems and a Minor in Statistics

Lia Arambula
Graduation: June 2020, MBA with a concentration in Information systems and a Minor in Statistics

Danielle Knell
Graduation: June 2020, MBA with a concentration in Information Systems and Minoring in Statistics

Jay Gubbi
Graduation: June 2020, MBA with a concentration in Information Systems

Larry Tran
Graduation: June 2020, MBA with a Concentration in Information Systems

Cal Poly Student PresentationCal Poly Student PresentationSara Hiner
Graduation: June 2020, MBA

Peggy ****
Graduation: June 2020, MBA with a concentration in Information Systems

Leilani Olmos-Steichen
Graduation: June 2020, MBA

Gabriella Trevino
Graduation: June 2020, MBA

After such a rewarding experience, we are currently planning the next project for this semester with an expansion of student participation and length of time to complete the program. Students will end their college career with highly reputable degrees, experience, and the credential of a Certified Anaplan Model Builder. Should you want to connect with any of these students or collaborate with the University Connect program, please reach out to Noelle Murphy at

University Connect Happenings

University Connect has been busy kicking off several semester-long projects with universities such as Cal Poly, UIC, Dixie State, and Georgia State. We are also working to grow our independent learner population. This is where students have the opportunity to take the online Anaplan training outside of an instructor-supported project.

This year we're excited about the opportunity to support students in the development of their Anaplan skills and connect with the Anaplan ecosystem for future job opportunities!

Are you a student looking to learn more about the University Connect program, or are you an employer looking for skilled talent to support your business needs? Let's chat! 


  • @noelle_murphy 

    Congratulations team! What an amazing experience. I truly wish something like this was available when I got my MBA.

    If UConnect ever wants to try to organize something near the NYC area, l hope you'll consider me for any role, even to visit with universities that might be interested. Way to go @noelle_murphy!

  • Thank you, Jared! I have a couple of Universities in NY that I am in touch with. If you have any contacts that you. I would love to connect with you for a conversation. N