Dynamic Consulting, a team of five ILLINOIS students, took first place in the xACT competition, or xTREME Accounting case competition PricewaterhouseCoopers hosted on campus November 11 and will now represent the University by participating in the company’s national case competition in the New York this January.
The team members include students Jingjing Li, David Robb, Ben Sanchez, Grant Stoffle and Peter Van Eck. This is the third consecutive year ILLINOIS has advanced to the finals, and last year’s team from ILLINOIS won the national competition, making this year’s team the defending champions, said Ken Dembek, lead recruiter for PricewaterhouseCoopers at the University.
At the case competition PricewaterhouseCoopers hosted for ILLINOIS students in November, Dynamic Consulting was only one of 13 teams to participate, and one of 425 teams to participate nationwide. The ILLINOIS team is one of five that will compete at the national level.
“Even to win on campus is pretty difficult, and ILLINOIS is always competitive,” said Dembek.
For many members of the Dynamic Consulting team, the xACT competition was their first case competition.
“I was asked to join our group by a former classmate,” said Robb, a 5th year student in the Accounting Certification Program. “I thought the competition would be an enjoyable way to apply what I’ve learned about accounting and business.”
For the competition, the team received the case and had two weeks to develop their solution and recommendations before presenting to the judges.
In the assigned scenario, a family-run helicopter company was suffering in the weakened economy and the team needed to decide the best solution for the company, according to Li, sophomore in Accountancy.
“There were basically two solutions that we can choose from,” Li said. “Each team had to choose one over another and give out a strong analysis based on what was chosen.”
One thing the teammates emphasized was the strong bond that developed among the five students and the way they all cooperated well in the competition.
“We were all enthusiastic about the competition, which helped us work together well,” Robb said. “We actually met before receiving the case so we could get to know each other better.”
When the students go to New York this January, they will not receive a new case, but instead they will need to defend and explain their solution from the original case to the PricewaterhouseCoopers judges, Dembek said.
“I am so excited to represent our school and help maintain the outstanding reputation the accounting program throughout the country,” said Van Eck.