Accounting juniors victorious in annual PwC Challenge

Clockwise from bottom left: Conenna, Domagala, Ahmad, Gangarossa and Kashif.

Release Date: November 10, 2016

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Five juniors in the University at Buffalo School of Management’s undergraduate accounting program will share a $1,000 prize as winners in the 13th annual PwC Challenge, held Nov. 4 at UB.

Shayan Ahmad of Rochester, Matthew Conenna of Brooklyn, Joshua Domagala of Kenmore, Marco Gangarossa of West Seneca and Hira Kashif of Brooklyn made up the winning team, named Let’s Get Fiscal.

The winners also earned an invitation to the national PwC Corporate Responsibility challenge.

Fifty-five School of Management accounting students participated in this year’s PwC Challenge, which is sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers at about 100 campuses nationwide. During the competition, students hone their analytical, decision-making and teamwork skills by tackling a real-world business scenario.

This year, teams analyzed a fictitious company looking to restore its reputation after making headlines for environmental issues. With help from a faculty coach, PwC mentor and student mentor, the teams evaluated the financial and accounting implications of acquiring an environmentally conscious company or investing in the business’s internal capabilities, and proposed their recommendations to a panel of PwC judges.

“The PwC Challenge allowed us to be creative and propose ideas that might be unconventional,” says Gangarossa, a member of the winning team. “We considered every possible aspect of the case and presented a solid solution, backed up with facts. I couldn’t be more proud of my team and appreciate the support we received from other School of Management students.”

Jing Chen, assistant professor of accounting and law, and Martha Salzman, clinical assistant professor of accounting and law, coached the winning team. Ryan Walter, assurance senior associate at PwC, and Molly Booi, a School of Management accounting master’s student, assisted the winning team as their PwC mentor and student mentor, respectively.

Nathanael Carbrey, BS/MBA ’12, senior associate; Everett Pefley, BS ’06, senior manager; and Heather Warnes, BS ’11, MS ’12, senior associate, served on the PwC judging panel.

Coming in second place was Team Apex, made up of juniors Noah King of Cazenovia, Tymon Nechipurenko of Irondequoit and Anthony Vedella of Elma, along with sophomores Anita Lin of Queens and Vinicius Moura of Blasdell. The team will share an $800 prize.

Team Street Creds came in third, with sophomores Chetinai Kalamaphichit and George Gao of New York, and Kenneth Setiadi, Ayush Sharma and Tasnia Tonima of Buffalo.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit mgt.buffalo.edu.

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