STRIVEing to have fun! Overcoming previous competition woes

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.

Candidly speaking, I was very lucky this year, but I also want to share some strategies and the mindset that helped me, and my teammates achieve success. 

Tony, AFM studentThe first thing I did to set my team and me up for success when competing was prioritizing learning over winning, which ultimately helped us win STRIVE. Given that STRIVE is based on networking with companies, I researched and tried to understand their business models and recent events. I learned some interesting things and found it enjoyable for my learning which benefitted our team.  

I was competing with Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) students that were teammates I was familiar with from previous activities and competitions. I think competing with classmates and friends is easier. It breaks down a lot of awkwardness, especially competing with strangers and going on silent Zoom calls (not recommended, unless you like cricket sounds).   

Furthermore, our team prepared two days early and divided up sections to research and create slides. We also looked at previous case resources and had a call before the day of the competition to go over our game plan. Lastly, we were echoing professor Ranjini Jha’s advice; “just have fun”. I always thought it was the end of the world when I lost but it's not.  

Now that I have sufficiently filled my ego barometer and flexed this blog and STRIVE Conference case competition win on my LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, I can rest easy knowing I have fulfilled the quintessential SAF student ritual *sarcasm*. I hope you can tell I had a lot of fun writing this blog but, in all seriousness, I look forward to future competitions. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

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