Undergraduate Student Life

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  • Case Competitions

    Now that the Career Fair is over and we're heading into interview season, many students in the College are wondering how to stand out from their peers and impress employers.  One outstanding way to show employers your smarts is by competing in a case competition.

    So what's a case competition?  A case competition is a when a group of students come together and solve a business case under a restricted period of time.  Many large companies host these types of competitions with prize money and other rewards as an incentive.  Last Fall I had the opportunity to compete in PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) case competition and took second place!   I teamed up with four of my close friends in the College and competed against fourteen other teams.

    Our case was about solving problems with national and international accounting standards.  With business becoming more and more global, there is a need for a universal set of standards so that financials are comparable across all markets and countries.  It took a lot of late nights in BIF, cups of coffee and practice before we were satisfied with our presentation.  We really came together to work towards a common goal and solve a current real-world problem. 

    Competing in PwC's case competition was a great experience for many reasons.  First off, by dedicating lots of time to working on the case, I showed PwC that I'm hardworking and dedicated to learning more about their firm.  Moreover, I got to show off my presentation skills and how I can work well with others in a group setting.  Secondly, it was a great networking opportunity.  I've been able to keep in contact with PwC recruiters as well as other partners - I made some awesome connections!  Finally, each member of my group won $250, money that was definitely hard-earned.

    PwC is far from the only company that puts on a case competition - I encourage freshmen to put themselves up to this challenge and get a little out of their comfort zone.  It's not easy, but it's a great learning experience with benefits you'll enjoy for the remainder of your college experience.

    Post a comment or email me if you have any further questions about case competitions or would like to hear more about my experience!

    Go Illini!