The pressure mounted when four current School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) students were told that out of 249 teams, they were one of 40 teams which qualified to compete in the National Investment Banking Competition and Conference (NIBC) on January 8-9th in Vancouver, BC.
With the help of various SAF staff and faculty, the team prepared for what would be the most challenging competition the four students had yet to face, through mock cases and constructive feedback. While the team felt confident and thoroughly prepared for the competition, they were met with a few unexpected challenges along the way. Upon arriving at Pearson International Airport, Team Em & A, consisting of Joanne Toporoski , Anqi Wang, Michael Wang, and Jason Gong learned that their flight had been cancelled due to severe weather. The team was forced to use their team work and problem solving skills to try and find a way to cross the country; the same skills that would be put to the test for the duration of the 2 day competition.
Their experience working as a team in past competitions and diversity co-op work experiences helped Team Em & A cope with the stressful environment of the NIBC. There was hardly a break for these four students as they worked tirelessly through the day and night. Their cell phones were relinquished, they had room service delivered because they could not leave their hotel suite, and an invigilator was stationed in the room at all times to ensure all rules were complied with throughout the competition.
When interviewed, the team explained that one key element for their success was the impeccable PowerPoint Presentation that they had created for the competition case. They felt as though it was extremely important to make their case as clear and relatable as possible to better illustrate their suggestions to the panel of judges.
These students were able to compete in the NIBC with the help of the School of Accounting and Finance Subsidy Program which supports experiential learning for students. The experience that these students gained in the NIBC and the experience that many students gain through similar competitions supported by the Subsidy Program, is a primary reason why School of Accounting and Finance students graduate with the confidence and understanding that Team Em & A demonstrated in the NIBC; the same qualities that make SAF students sought after by many well-respected companies worldwide.
Team Em & A is thankful for all of the support they received from the faculty, staff, and the School of Accounting and Finance. They hope to share their knowledge and mentor teams looking to challenge the National Investment Banking Competition and Conference in the future.