Coined as the “Stanley Cup” of student-run business competitions by the Financial Post, two AFM students advanced to the final round to capture second place at the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (ICBC) for the first time in SAF history.
Erin Yi Dan Xie, a 4A AFM student and Kevin Li, a 3A AFM student competed in the largest and most prestigious student-run business case competition, the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition held at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
Competing in the preliminary round with over 500 other students from across Canada and worldwide they dominated to the final round with 100 competitors in 8 competing categories.
Erin and Kevin placed second in the Accounting category which challenged their technical and practical knowledge in both accounting and financial management.
The competition was a first for both students in preparing and presenting a case outside of a classroom setting. Erin and Kevin entered the competitions as the underdogs having learned that other schools had prepare all year for the competition, with some even devoting entire courses and coaches to it.
“Given the little resources we have had compared to the other schools and the fact that Kevin and I have never presented a case before, I thought that it was quite an accomplishment and I hope that we will be able to uphold or exceed the standard for next year!” explains Erin about her experience.
Program Director for the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program, Donna Psutka states, “The use of cases and an approach to case analysis is delivered throughout the SAF program curriculum. This skill set development begins in first year with the first in a series of integration/learning-to-learn courses. This skill set development throughout the program provides all SAF students with a foundation in case analysis. Participation in case competitions provides more opportunities for practice and application and enhances the learning process.”
Given 5 hours to dissect a case, create a resolution, and prepare a slide presentation, students presented their solutions to a panel of judges made up of industry professionals and university professors.
Of the five teams competing in the Accounting category, Kevin, Erin and their other team members were humbled when presented with second place.
“I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to compete at ICBC Queen’s on behalf of UWaterloo SAF,” states Kevin. “The cases are very similar to material we have covered in class, and I feel great knowing I have the ability to apply this knowledge and present it to a panel of industry professionals.”
Lynn Graham, student relations coordinator for the School of Accounting and Finance, reflects on how SAF’s integrative approach to courses have helped students succeed in real life case scenarios. “The way the courses at the SAF are structured, these skills are built into our curriculum and the knowledge of how to approach a case is something that is taught not just to an elite group but to our entire student body. The SAF students get repeated exposure to cases and that not only teaches them about how to manage the information well but also gives the opportunity to practice and get more skillful at it.”
“It's been a pleasure representing SAF in participating in the Queen's ICBC competition,” states Erin, who is thankful for the opportunity and support that SAF provided. “SAF's courses and resources have been helpful in the preparations of our case. I've also been really enjoying the competition as I've had the opportunity to meet very bright individuals from across the world.”
“We congratulate Kevin and Erin for their outstanding achievement in placing second in the 2016 ICBC in Accounting,” states Associate Director of Finance, Ranjini Jah, who spoke on behalf of the SAF. “We are especially proud of their performance since SAF teams have participated in the preliminary round of the ICBC for the past few years and this was the first SAF team that made the breakthrough to the final ICBC round.”