My story begins with a desire to explore the different School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) competitions that the program offers and try to gain experience in the disciplines that I'm interested in. During my application for the Schulich RISE Competition, I checked the entrepreneurship box because I thought that competing could help make me a more well-rounded individual and could strengthen my foundational knowledge within this field. At first, I thought of this competition as an experience to try out what it might be like working in this field, but it didn’t go exactly how I thought it would.
I had never competed in a case competition before, so everything was brand new for me, including my teammates. In the beginning, I was hesitant to speak up if I disagreed because I didn’t want to make a bad first impression. However, RISE made me realize that it is important to get through the initial awkwardness within a team quickly if you want to succeed. We bonded over the virtual setting of the conference and the complexity of the case itself. Our momentum kept us going throughout the two days, and winning in our discipline definitely topped it all off.
The most important lesson I learned, however, was not that teamwork leads to winning, but that teamwork leads to progress. I am very happy to have won the competition but am even more ecstatic to have done so alongside my hard-working team members. We all joined this competition with a sense of courage and exploration, not knowing what to expect. The pressures and challenges we faced brought the best out of all of us and have brought each of us one step closer to where we want our career to be.