From spreadsheets to success: Navigating the case competition landscape at Eclipse

Friday, March 15, 2024
by Vanie, Avika, John, and Afnan

In the early, foggy morning of January 27th, our team, Vanie, John, Afnan and Avika, travelled in a tight car headed towards downtown Toronto with sweaty palms and sleepy eyes. Arriving at the Chelsea Hotel, we entered a buzzing room of industry professional judges and jittery competitors, including some familiar faces from our hometowns and the University of Waterloo.

Avika, Vanie, John, and Afnan

Avika, Vanie, John, and Afnan

The 2024 Eclipse Case Competition brought together ambitious students from five different universities across Ontario to solve cases in the categories of project management, financial advisory, technology and equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Our team was comprised of first and third-year students in the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) and Sustainability and Financial Management (SFM) programs. Having signed up for this opportunity with different expectations and motivations, our team was united by one shared objective: to compete with no regrets.

Within a few weeks, we had grown from teammates to friends, exchanging laughs, tips and tricks, school experiences, co-op stories and delicious meals. Preceding the competition, we navigated late nights, academic and co-op commitments and other minor roadblocks. We tackled these challenges by relying on trust, perseverance, and reliable faculty, staff and upper-year students to support our pitches for the financial advisory and EDI cases. The financial advisory case required us to provide a strategic implementation for a liquor company to sustain its current market share and generate organic and inorganic growth within the short, medium and long term. Conversely, the EDI case requested strategic initiatives to promote EDI values and employee wellbeing within the workplace.

Our mentors from the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF), shared various perspectives and encouragement regarding case competition best practices and financial application problem-solving. While we broke down the case, we were able to leverage classroom knowledge and co-op experiences to implement innovative solutions. The ability to transfer these skills to the competition cases was rewarding, and through this real-world experience we saw just how valuable SAF’s problem-solving style of learning is.

Through SAF’s External Competitions Subsidy Program, we received mentorship from faculty, and tested our business skills. Participating at Eclipse was an experience like no other.

After a long but rewarding day at Eclipse, we returned to Waterloo with bright smiles, grinning ear to ear with a second-place win in the financial advisory case category!