BEYOND THE CLASSROOM: Applying knowledge to real-life scenarios at the IBM Tech Consulting Competition

I’m Anna and coming into university, I had little to no case competition or public speaking experience. However, being surrounded by bright and ambitious peers, I was introduced to a variety of opportunities offered by the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF). Here students were encouraged to strengthen their case-solving skills while representing the school. My team expressed our interest in entering the IBM Tech Consulting Competition and we were supported by SAF at each step along the way. Before the competition, we had a prep session with a faculty member to ensure that we were well equipped heading into the competition.

We then travelled to Western University for a one-day case competition with over 60 participating teams. Centered around IBM’s technology, our task was to determine the best course of action for a medium-sized bank looking to expand its operations nationally. With four hours to pull the deliverables together, we as a team were able to identify and play to the strengths of each individual. Our team was able to leverage a diverse set of backgrounds, as we’ve all completed a variety of co-op placements including private equity, accounting, management consulting and tech.

“Working with a team of people from diverse backgrounds, the IBM Tech Consulting Competition was a great opportunity to solve a real-life case with a strong focus on emerging trends in technology and applications.”

This experience has allowed me to apply knowledge taught in the classroom to real-life scenarios, and meet a variety of people at the case competition, like judges and firm representatives. It was a high-pressure environment that presented a challenge; however, my team leveraged our strong collaboration and communication skills to present our idea, and we finished among the Top 5 in the competition!

As one of the highlights of my term, I would absolutely recommend participating in case competitions like these to further build your professional skillset, tackle new challenges, and meet new people.

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