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Last month, the ANU College of Business and Economics’ (CBE) Careers and Student Employability team partnered with CPA Australia to jointly hold their inaugural Case Competition.
This contest aimed to enhance professional skills of participating students through teamwork, problem-solving and presentations to determine a solution to a ‘case’.
In this instance, students from ten teams examined Seven Summits, a fictitious major outdoor retailer in Australia that had multiple stores across the country and was experiencing low sales and profits due to COVID-19. To survive, the retailer would have to make difficult decisions on how they sold their products to their customers. The two options they were considering included selling their home-branded products through other retail providers (wholesale) or completely moving to an online platform.
Teams were tasked with conducting cost-benefit analyses for both options, recommending the optimal strategy and tactics to execute the strategy.
“Members of the CPA ACT Divisional Council Rodney Miller FCPA (ACT Divisional President), Phillipa Leggo CPA and Matthew Geysen FCPA, who judged the business cases, were impressed by the thoroughness and detail of the plans. This was a fantastic competition and a great way for students to engage with senior members of the accounting profession. I thank CBE for organising and allowing us to be a part of the competition,” said Matthew Andrews, General Manager of CPA Australia.
The competition was presented entirely over Zoom meetings. The winning team selected by the judges was ‘Sustineri Consulting,’ whose members comprised of CBE students Batrisyia Muhd Ramiza, Hayley Tang and Bruce Gan.
Reflecting on judging the competition, Dr Rebecca Tan, Deputy Director (Education) in the Research School of Accounting, found that the written reports and presentations mirrored the high quality of research and preparation by the students.
“In the end, there was not that much that separated the top three teams. It was very refreshing to see such calibre in our current students and their awareness of the current challenges facing contemporary organisations,” she added.
The winning team members of ‘Sustineri Consulting’ collectively felt that “they have won more than just the competition”.
Batrisyia Muhd Ramiza, Bachelor of Commerce
Through this experience, I’ve learnt that going the extra mile is one of the easiest ways to stand out from the crowd. As an introvert, I’ve always preferred to observe quietly and take in information from others, but this competition has taught me that voicing out every small idea is very useful.
Hayley Tang, Flexible Verticle Double Degree in Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Marketing Management.
Remote presentation was a brand-new experience for us. Thus, we had to explore a presentation style that could best deliver our message through Zoom. Meanwhile, we prepared a plan B in case of technical difficulties. I am grateful that this case competition challenged us to get used to what might be the new norm in business communication.
Bruce Gan, Bachelor of Commerce (major in Accounting) and Bachelor of Finance (major in Capital Markets)
The most valuable insight I acquired through the competition was the idea that in many cases we have to draw from many different facets of commerce in order to come to a well-rounded and thoughtful conclusion, along with the importance of setting team expectations and deadlines.
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All photos in this story were taken by Hayley Tang.