Balancing school, co-op and a virtual case competition

Preparing for a virtual case competition for the first time

As someone who participated in case competitions over the last few years, I was excited to have the opportunity to participate in the CFA Ethics Challenge. For the competition, we were asked to evaluate a case about ethical dilemmas faced in the investment management industry and virtually present our analysis to a panel of judges. Working alongside my team members in preparation for the competition, we were able to manage our school and co-op commitments to ensure we could dedicate time to prepare for the competition. I had two exams the day after the competition. I had to ensure I studied for my exams in advance so that I could stay focused during the competition day. My team was extremely supportive and mindful of each other’s commitments whether they were co-op, school or personal! My daily Outlook calendar helped to make sure I could balance full-time studies with preparation for this competition.

Photo of Shubhankar

All my team members took AFM 311, the Connections to Ethical Context course that the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) offers, which was a great primer for what to expect during the first and second round of the competition. In addition, SAF faculty mentors helped us by answering our questions and provided us with feedback during our practice sessions which helped us prepare for the competition. We were able to practice answering challenging questions and also simulate a real competition atmosphere with the help of faculty members who volunteered their time.

The competition day was super quick – we delivered a 10-minute presentation which was followed by a 10-minute Q&A period. A lot of preparation culminated in only 20 minutes of time! Personally, this was the first time I participated in a completely virtual competition and as a result, I had to adjust to working remotely. It was difficult to gauge how the judges felt about our presentation while we delivered it since we could not see them physically. Nonetheless, the CFA Society Toronto did a great job with accommodating the adjustment to an online setting and both preparation and the presentation day went smoothly.

As I reflect over my time at SAF, case competitions have been a challenging yet rewarding way to challenge my thinking, meet other like-minded individuals and represent our school – experiences I continue to cherish!

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