Something ventured, something gained – A student perspective on case competitions

by Scott Roehl

When I began taking business courses in university, I quickly discovered that there was almost an endless list of ways to “get involved”. One of the unique opportunities available for students that takes learning beyond the classroom is participation in case competitions. Depending on the competition, it can be individual or team-based and you can even find yourself competing against teams from other universities.

Beyond the competitive nature of being able to demonstrate a variety of skills and knowledge, there is plenty of opportunities to forge friendships with other students and learn from each other. To really bring this last point to life, a University of Winnipeg Student (Darrell) shares his perspective after competing in the February 2011 GAAPS Conference and Case Competition:

Now that the 10th annual GAAPS conference is behind us I must say that GAAPS is in fact much more than a case study and when I think about it the actual case may be secondary to other happenings. Friendships were made, knowledge was shared, good times were had and winners declared.

Why did I register for GAAPS? Because I’m planning to major in accounting and then pursue an accounting designation I imagined there must be some sort of advantage gained by participating in GAAPS. In fact there are many advantages gained by participating in GAAPS including the opportunity to meet and learn from peers, the chance to develop presentation and case study skills as well as free dinners.

Months before the competition my teammates and I began studying accounting cases provided to us by our professor. I must admit that many of the cases we studied contained topics that were greater than my own skill as an accounting student. Three heads are better than one; my teammates would often crack the case and open up some of the possibilities, afterwards I was able to realize what the case portrayed and add ideas and analysis of my own. Therefore on many occasions I would have a steep learning curve to overcome but when it came time to present our analysis I felt quite comfortable and understood most of the problems presented in the case.

Our preparation really paid-off when it came time for GAAPS and we ultimately got to present in the final round of the competition. In the end, it was a delight to earn third spot in the competition! I felt as though the competition was well organized and judged accordingly. All in all it’s just another page in the story of my life, something ventured and something gained.

If you have ever thought about getting involved in a case competition, take action and get involved. You won’t regret it!

Thanks again to Darrell for sharing his case competition experience.

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