Sean Finneran ’09

finneranThe Champ

Sean Finneran smiled as he shared the name he earned during his final semester at URI: The Champ.

Finneran, an accounting major from North Kingstown, earned the moniker after his performance in the Capsim Challenge, a business simulation game developed by Capsim Management Simulations in which either individuals or teams develop management strategies.

In April, Finneran competed against 942 teams from around the globe and was one of six finalists. In the finals—which consisted of eight rounds completed over a three-day stretch—Finneran finished as the top U.S. player and also ranked third in the world. He beat an entry from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School for top U.S. honors.

Finneran got involved in the Capsim Challenge through a class with Professor Robert Comerford. After performing well in the class setting, Finneran decided to enter the worldwide challenge through the Capsim Web site.

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For the competition, he set up shop in the 24-hour room at the URI Library. “I was nervous for the first few rounds, and for good reason,” Finneran said. “You are playing against the best other five teams in the world.”

In the days leading up to the contest, Comerford spent time with Finneran developing and tweaking strategy. The individual attention made a strong impression on the student.

At 28, Finneran has been taking college courses for more than 10 years. He started at CCRI, transferred to Rhode Island College, and returned to CCRI before coming to URI.

Throughout his college years, Finneran worked as a kitchen supervisor at Gregg’s Restaurant and Pub in North Kingstown. “It has all been part of the human experience,” Finneran said. “You grow and evolve and you kind of find your way in society. That’s what I was doing for a while.

Graduation is really special for me because I’ve been in school for 10 years. There was a time I did not think I was going to graduate from college.”

—Shane Donaldson ’99
Photo by Nora Lewis.