Competition blogs

Our team was comprised of two Master of Accounting (MAcc) students who completed all their co-op terms in audit and a fourth-year Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) student who only completed one of his co-op terms in a tax-related role. With a limited background in tax, we all felt underqualified heading into the case competition since we knew we would be competing against peers with much more relevant tax experience. Although our success in the competition was down to our own research, collaboration, and presentation efforts, we would like to give a special mention to our professor, Julie Robson. Professor Robson reached out to us initially and encouraged all of our team members to compete. Without this nudge from her, it is unlikely that we would’ve signed up and achieved this successful win. Tax is definitely one of those areas that can be intimidating, even to accounting professionals, and so sometimes all that’s needed is a little encouragement!

We are a team of Accounting and Financial Management students from the University of Waterloo who had the opportunity to participate in this exciting Eclipse Case Competition open for undergraduate students across Ontario. Our team, consisting of Mohammad, Robert, Bryce, and Nathan, had an incredible time at the competition, and we’re excited to share our experience with you.

Our team (from left to right: Anshul, Baldwyn, and Rebecca) recently had the opportunity to compete in the Young Tax Professionals (YTP) Case Competition on June 16, 2023. We had a great experience where we got to use the tax knowledge, research abilities and presentation skills that we have learned from our undergraduate and master’s programs.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Taking the Bespoke Approach

The 10th edition of the School of Accounting and Finance’s (SAF) Investment Research Challenge (IRC) brought anticipation and excitement. As a team of students who enjoy pitch competitions, we knew we had to try our best during the competition if we were to win the top prize. After weeks of preparation and a day of competing, we were incredibly happy to hear that we won first place!

After competing in several case competitions together, our team decided that the SAF Strategy Competition was an amazing opportunity for us to apply our skills at home in Hagey Hall.

For this year’s competition, we were tasked with developing creative strategies to help Tesla stay ahead in the electric vehicle (EV) market. With such an ambitious ask, our team took advantage of the room for creative freedom and presented a three-pronged strategy to tackle this challenge: addressing current issues in Tesla’s customer journey, launching a new brand to compete with lower-cost EVs, and establishing a strategic partnership with a rideshare company to drive further product awareness.

Natasha
From challenge to experience:

Each year, the Global Case Competition at Harvard University attracts over 3,000 finance and business students from 100 universities across the world to present their financial valuation and strategy-backed recommendations to a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) case. 

The Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) is a highly competitive event in which teams from universities across the world compete against each other in a simulated venture capital investment process. Our team from the University of Waterloo (myself, Matthew, Alyzeh, Aryaman, Vireshaar and Daniel) were thrilled to have made it to the global finals after winning the Canadian regional competition held in Halifax.

As first-year students in our 1B term, all with diverse backgrounds and experiences, we came together to take on the Schulich Accounting Society (SAS) Pathways Case Competition. 

In early March, School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) students Mahek, Puneet, Daniel and I competed in the final round of the National Investment Banking Conference (NIBC) in Vancouver. I participated in the conference because I believed it would offer a glimpse into what a career in investment banking would be like.

Join Tony, Amisha, Aki, Puneet, and Rachel as they share their thoughts about competing in the CFA Society Toronto Ethics Challenge. This competition helps increase students’ awareness of the ethical dilemmas and issues they may face as investment management professionals.

The Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.) is one of the oldest case competitions in Canada and is known for its complex yet integrative cases. This year, we had the pleasure of competing in the accounting stream.

As previous analysts on the Student Venture Fund and AFM 433: Business Strategy, enthusiasts, we had always been interested in analyzing companies and thinking of strategic possibilities for them. This drew us to the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.), where we became finalists in the business policy event.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

The Battle on Bay Street

The Toronto Metropolitan University in downtown Toronto organized its annual “Battle on Bay” competition from January 12 to January 15 this year. The three-day event was well-organized and featured two major competitions and many other enrichment sessions, including panel discussions, networking events, a scavenger hunt and a grand gala closing ceremony. 

 

In all honestly, I used to dislike case competitions. Competing was stressful and I lost several times, however, despite my suboptimal experiences in the past, I found a turning point this year with the STRIVE Conference case competition, which is among Ontario’s largest accounting-focused conferences.

It was an honour to represent the School of Accounting and Finance and win first place in the STRIVE Conference's national case competition at the senior tier level among several other teams across the country.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Chance and challenge

Our path to first place in the SAF Investment Research Challenge (IRC)

Spring 2022 has been quite an interesting term. For a lot of us, it’s the first time we’ve been on campus in a few years, wandering the halls of Hagey Hall (which is where our classes are), and for others, it's the first time being on campus altogether.

This January, a team composed of four undergraduate students in Accounting and Financial Management, Engineering, and Planning competed in the eighth edition of the annual Ryerson Real Estate Expand Your Empire (EYE) Case Competition, where their financially feasible and sustainable design won both the first place grand prize and the Most Feasible Design award for a total cash prize of $11,500.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

An unexpected victory!

Hey School of Accounting and Finance (SAF)!

We are Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) students Janvi, Hufsah, Nicole, and Rohun and we are happy to announce that we emerged with a first-place victory in the accounting portion of the Eclipse Case Competition that took place earlier in February!

In December 2021, we competed in the second annual Interactive Business Dashboard Competition (IBDC), a competition sponsored by the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Information Integrity and Information System Assurance (UW CISA). Our task was to develop an interactive business dashboard for a toy store retailer, TTS, where the company can monitor their own performance.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

A Sweet and Sustainable Victory

Hello UWaterloo Community!

We are Evelyn (bottom left), Joanne (top left), Philbert (bottom right), and Ceanna (top right), and we competed in the STRIVE National Case Competition in the upper-year student level and we emerged with a first place win!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Making the Best Out of the Pandemic

The upside was that I could compete in competitions that are now virtual and make meaningful connections with other students

At the start of the global pandemic, I pictured months filled with monotony and boredom, since the most enjoyable part of being in the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program was missing – connections in person with other people. Fortunately, the reality was very far from my pessimistic expectation.

Lessons gained from competing in the YTP Case Competition

Hello SAF community!

My name is Abirna, and I am an undergraduate student who has recently completed her third year in Accounting and Financial Management (AFM), and even more recently joined the Young Tax Professionals program (YTP for short).

When people hear I am learning tax in school they often get confused. People assume that tax is just inputting numbers into a form and that it is easy as that. However, the taxation field is so much more and is integral to our daily lives. 

Participating in the 2021 School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) Investment Research Challenge (IRC) was an experience that broadened our business acumen and challenged us to think critically while collaborating under difficult conditions. Our team covered the Canadian Sugar industry, which allowed us to explore a new industry and expanded our understanding of macroeconomic factors and the dynamics that impact different types of businesses.

During our 2B and 3B terms in the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program, we decided to participate in the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) Investment Research Challenge (IRC). We saw a great opportunity in this challenge to apply the knowledge that we gained in both our courses as well as our involvement in the Student Investment Fund.

Monday, July 12, 2021

No Challenge Is Too Ambitious

“No challenge is too ambitious, so we believe that Peloton’s user goal of 100 million users is attainable.”

As a second-year team entering the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) Strategy Case Competition, our team’s main goals were to exercise our consulting skills and learn from the unique experiences each member brought to the team. As competition day neared, our team was most excited to witness a plethora of top-tier presentations from our upper-year mentors. Never could we have guessed that we would be amongst the teams on the podium!

Lessons gained from competing at the SAF Strategy Case Competition

Over the past month, the three of us that make up PPG Consulting, have had a blast working on our presentation for the SAF Strategy Case Competition. From the first moment we heard about the competition, we knew we had to put our skills to the test.

The SAF Strategy Case Competition allowed our team’s friendship to foster and grow in unimaginable ways, even while in an online setting. From meeting in SAF’s CPA Student Lounge on campus in our first year to working until the early mornings on group projects to working virtually on our case competition together — our friendship has blossomed exponentially.

Today’s accounting and finance professionals face many adverse challenges, now more than ever. Attending and competing in the 2021 Achieve Case Competition while representing the University of Waterloo and the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) was not only a great learning experience but also a time to showcase courage in redefining the future and overcoming challenges. 

After five rounds of elimination, our CFA Institute Research Challenge (IRC) team moved on to the Global Finals, making us the only 3-person team and the third Canadian team in history to make it to the top 5 worldwide.

The Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) at the regional level was an exhilarating experience. Now a month later, we were doing it all over again — on a global stage. In retrospect, I want to talk about a funny phenomenon at the competition. You’ll often hear about the “power of three” in fairy tales, and I like to think that we were riding on some powerful “three” tailwinds as we pursued a “top three” placement. To begin with, we organized three advisory meetings, aligned with three faculty advisors, and did due diligence on three start-ups over three days of competition.

After winning the Canadian finals of the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) back in March of 2021, my team and I were very excited to move onto the global finals in April. It was definitely a very fun and unique competition!

Through the School of Accounting and Finance’s External Subsidy Program, my teammates and I were selected to compete in the Fast Pace to the Case Competition. This was an Ontario-wide accounting case competition that put our case writing and teamwork skills to the test.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Taking every opportunity to learn

Amid a global pandemic, virtual competitions have gathered inspiration from our current circumstances. The A4S International Case Competition (A4SICC) challenged us as students to develop a sustainable solution that addressed supply chain resiliency, which is a critical issue impacted by COVID-19. That’s a big ask!

The case competition was on March 11, 2021, and we had around one week to read the case, review the details, create a slide deck, and create a presentation where we assumed the role of investment bankers aiding in a potential acquisition bid. The case was based on a real acquisition that took place in the late 2000s, which added to the realism of the case.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

A VC simulation like no other

Throughout my university experience, I was exposed to a variety of learning environments from the classroom to co-op to the Student Venture Fund. In all these environments, I learned from my professors, faculty members, managers, and industry experts. At the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), I was given the opportunity to learn by leading.

On March 5th, 2021, for the second year in a row, students from the University of Waterloo Student Venture Fund (SVF) captured the 2021 Undergraduate Canada Regional Finals Championship for the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC). The University of Waterloo claimed the title over the University of Alberta (2nd) and Acadia University (3rd) and has advanced to the International Finals being held on April 10.

Friday, March 19, 2021

The Great Ad-Venture

On Friday, March 5th, I had the opportunity to participate in the Canadian Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC). With hard work and preparation, my team was able to place first overall! This competition was an enjoyable experience where I was able to gain insights into the venture capital space as my team attended pitches, led due diligence sessions, and pitched a deal.

Experiences from an unusual Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC)

Earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to participate in the Canadian Venture Capital Investment Competition as part of the University of Waterloo’s undergraduate team. While the event is usually held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, it was moved to a virtual setting because of the global pandemic. This presented a new set of challenges for us to face and overcome.

Friday, March 19, 2021

A Day as a Venture Capitalist

It had been four years since I last competed in a case competition, so naturally, I was hesitant when I was invited to join the School of Accounting and Finance’s (SAF) graduate team for the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC). During the competition, we played the role of Venture Capitalists for a day, assessed start-ups, and presented and delivered an investment strategy in front of a panel of judges.

Before participating in the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), I had very limited knowledge, if any, about venture capital. I was surprised at the responsibility to represent the University of Waterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) in our graduate team, but I jumped at the opportunity, nonetheless.

Lessons gained from competing on a national stage

Having participated in numerous entrepreneurship programs before university, the dynamics surrounding growing companies have always fascinated me. After getting involved with the University of Waterloo’s Student Venture Fund (SVF) during my second year in the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program, I combined my background in operations with a newly found interest: early-stage investing.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

A Competition Like No Other

Participating in this competition was an opportunity to represent the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) and the University of Waterloo on a global stage, learn from the best, and become an expert on one special company. While we faced our fair share of ups and downs, there were a few aspects that were key to our success.