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Accounting students nab silver medal in case competition

By Meaghan Whelan

Two Faculty of Business undergraduate students showed their accounting smarts at a recent competition. Samantha Attwood and Erin Gullage placed second in the accounting category at the Queen’s Intercollegiate Business Competition (ICBC), Jan. 9-11, 2009.

To qualify for ICBC, students must first compete in a preliminary inter-university round. The winners of the preliminaries then travel to Kingston to compete before a panel of judges comprised of industry representatives and national journalists.

The pair is no stranger to competition, having been part of the Memorial team that placed second in the Network of International Business Schools case competition in England last April.

“The ICBC competition is different from other case competitions because it is focused on a specific area of business,” explained Ms. Gullage. “You have to draw heavily from what you’ve learned in specific courses.”

Students are given five and a half hours to analyze a case in a particular subject area and develop a 15 minute presentation for the judges. Although they have no contact with the outside world while they prepare their recommendations and presentations, they are allowed to reference textbooks.

“We took in the textbooks for the advanced managerial accounting course, which we haven’t even taken yet, and we were glad we did,” said Ms. Attwood. “We ended up using one of the theories from that course in our presentation and even had to answer a judge’s question on it.”

Both students said the competition built on their skills and improved their confidence. “It’s another way to apply what we’ve learned in class,” said Ms. Attwood.

“And knowing how to make presentations and think on your feet is a huge advantage,” explained Ms. Gullage. “We both plan on becoming CAs, and these types of skills and experiences will definitely help us.”

The students thanked Pauline Downer, Tim Jones, Peggy Coady, and Jeff Pittman for their help in preparing for the competition “We had a huge amount of support from the accounting group,” said Ms. Attwood. “They gave up their last days of vacation and helped us prepare right up until the last minute and we really appreciated it.”

2009 marked the 30th anniversary of the ICBC competition. Several ICBC event alumni came out to help celebrate the competition’s 30th anniversary, including Dr. Alex Faseruk, Memorial University, an ICBC faculty advisor and Arnoldi Award winner for long-time support and dedication to the competition.