The University has Illinois Business School has a lot to be proud of, especially of the three grads who are were selected out of 13 teams at Illinois to compete in the PwC (PricewaterhouseCooper LLP) xACT (xTREME Games in Accounting).
Sophomores Eric Rosenbaum, Steven Heiss and Dan Ettleson have remained friends since graduating from Stevenson. Now, in their second year of college, they are still classmates and have added teammates to their list. The other two students that compose this award winning team are Stephanie Korinek and Nighath Hussain.
How their team was chosen seems utterly overwhelming and extremely exhausting. First they competed against 13 other teams at the university level. As the winning team at U of I, a video of their presentation was then sent to the national headquarters. After that win, their presentation along with the 45 other schools' winning presentations were sent to New York for the final, final cut. At that point, Eric's team was one of five schools chosen to travel to New York to compete for the championship.
This year there is some added pressure for our local team as University of Illinois has had two consecutive overall championships in the past two years. Eric said, "This puts the pressure on us to keep the streak going, especially considering the judges tend to want to 'spread the wealth' so-to-speak and select different schools. This year there is a little extra incentive to win, as the University of Texas is another national finalist. Texas is the only school currently ranked ahead of Illinois in accounting out of all public schools."
Eric describes the project as follows:
"The competition gave us two weeks to prepare a 12-minute presentation on the topic of U.S. convergence with International Accounting Standards arguing for either a 'Big Bang' transition or a 'staggered' approach which would have different deadlines for convergence of different projects. We chose the Big Bang approach and based our support on the fact that it is in the best interest of the major stakeholders: users of financial statements (investors and creditors), issuers of financial statements (company accountants), and public accountants (auditors).
He adds, "The best part of the project has been working with my teammates. I have learned a lot from working with each of them about working as a team and being supportive of each other. Also, the experience of getting to present in front of head recruiters and partners from such a prestigious firm is extremely valuable. At the same time, the worst part of the competition, for me, had to be the stress of presenting a memorized presentation to the recruiters and partners from PwC. We overcame this by working as a team to help each of us master our roles in the presentation."
On a lighter note, Dan said, "The worst part of the competition for me was the 7:30 a.m team practice the day of the competition. Us college students have become accustomed to our 10:00 wake-up times."
The competition is Jan 20-21. I'll keep you posted on how they do. Good luck!
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