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Accounting Students See Real-life Scenarios in PwC Case Competition

November 16, 2016

More than 30 St. John Fisher College accounting students competed in the annual PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) business competition. The challenge, which is sponsored by PwC, included freshman, sophomore, and junior business majors who worked for two weeks on a case scenario before presenting their findings to a panel of judges on Friday, Nov. 4.

The case competition models a real-world business scenario focusing on the strategic issues currently being faced by companies all over the world and provides students the ability to use analytical thinking, fact-based decision making, and collaborative action. 

PWC First Place Team

PWC First Place Team

The 2016 challenge consisted of a fictitious tire company who was facing a public relations after their tires were discovered in the Louisiana wetlands. Each team was required to address a long-term solution to restore the public’s faith in the business, which included whether the company should develop or invest in a tire recycling company, the potential impact on the company’s balance sheet, and other accounting implications.

A total of seven Fisher teams competing, and each team had a faculty and PwC mentor assigned to them. Once PwC provided the case to the students, each team had two weeks to work as a group to develop a solution and a presentation.

The presentations were approximately 10 minutes in length, which was followed by a 10 minute question and answer session. The judging panel consisted of two previous PwC Rochester Managing Partners, including Ed Kay and Gerald Van Strydonck, as well as a PwC Tax Director, Jack Johnson.  The PwC competition was coordinated by Kristi Jeffres, visiting assistant professor, Mike Messenger, PwC tax manager, and Gina Vaglia, PwC Lake Erie talent acquisition. 

Erika Atkins ’18, Todd Stebbins ‘18 (Honors student), Natasha Mezza ‘19, and Jenna Deverell ’20, earned first place in this year’s competition (pictured above). The team was guided by faculty mentor Lynn Mucenski-Keck, associate professor at Fisher, and PwC mentor Sarah Fordyce ’13, ’14 (MS), a tax associate at PwC. Each student from the first place team won $250 for their efforts. 

PWC Second Place Team

PWC Second Place Team

Earning a second place finish was Zach Cicchini ’20, Chelsea Stellwagon ’19, Cameron Gross ’18, and Christa Constantine ’18 (pictured right).  Their faculty mentor was Dr. Michael Fedoryshyn, associate professor, and their PwC mentor was Alanna Fitzpatrick ’15, ’16 (MS), PwC tax associate.