Release Date: November 8, 2018
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A team of University at Buffalo School of Management juniors was victorious in the 15th annual PwC Challenge, which tests accounting students’ critical-thinking, teamwork and presentation skills.
Accounting majors Craig Adriaansen of Marion, Hannah Carboni of West Seneca, William Gaulin of Amherst, and Ben Makosy of West Seneca made up the winning team, named “It’s Accrual World," and each received a $200 prize.
Forty-three students entered the competition, held Nov. 2 on UB’s North Campus. PwC sponsors a challenge at about 100 campuses nationwide and offers the top local teams the opportunity to move on to the national PwC Corporate Responsibility Challenge.
This year, students examined a fast-growing online shopping platform that’s looking to relocate its operations. Each team examined data from three finalist cities to determine which could provide the best quality of living for the company’s 35,000 employees, based on its short- and long-term strategic plans.
Teams presented their analyses and recommendations to a panel of alumni judges from PwC: Nathanael Carbrey, BS/MBA ’12, assurance manager; Eric Chapman, MS ’08, assurance senior manager; and Heather Warnes, BS ’11, MS ’12, assurance manager.
“Working with a real-life scenario pushed us to be consultants,” Adriaansen says. “This was the first time all of us worked together, so we learned the importance of teamwork, as well as how to put presentations together from scratch within a two-week timeframe.”
Each team benefited from the experience and insights of a faculty mentor and PwC mentor. Alex Ampadu, clinical associate professor of accounting and law, and Louis Galarza, BS ’14, MS ’15, assurance senior associate at PwC, served as the winning team’s mentors.
“This challenge allowed me to test myself,” says Gaulin, one of the winning team members. “One important thing I took away is how to present information in a way in which it could be understood in seconds using technology and visuals.”
Gaulin continues, “The experience and knowledge we gained from the PwC Challenge are priceless.”
Cheryl Hall, clinical assistant professor of accounting and law, and Megan Jones, talent acquisition senior associate at PwC, organized the event. Additional School of Management volunteers — who helped run the event and offered teams preliminary feedback on their presentations — included Keith Stolzenburg, executive in residence for accounting; Mary Ann Rogers, clinical associate professor of organization and human resources; and students Montana Copeland, Marco Gangarossa, Bryce Gatto, Carly Gugino, Max Johnson, Olivia Miller, Vinny Moura and Jenna Prentiss.