By Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller undergraduates won first place in the national PricewaterhouseCoopers Accounting case competition in New York on January 3.
It was the second year that a UA team participated in the final competition. The Eller students – Drew Finsterwald, Spencer Shugrue, Derek Haboush, and Ryan Mendoza – squared off against teams from University of Illinois, University of Washington, Villanova University, and Wake Forest University.
Shugrue (Eller Accounting and MIS ’14) participated in the competition last year as well. He said that gave his team an edge. “I learned a lot from the experience and knew what the judges would be expecting,” he said. “What really set us apart, though, was our ability to think outside the box and go beyond the recommendations that were given to us.”
He said the competition has been the highlight of his Eller experience so far. “What we accomplished is something you dream about,” Shugrue said. “This whole competition was voluntary, so when you work hard and see this type of results, it feels pretty good. Our whole team appreciates everything Eller does though, we know this would not have been possible without the great faculty working within Eller.” Faculty advisor Joe Fonte assisted the team in its win.
“We’re proud of Drew, Spencer, Derek, and Ryan,” said Len Jessup, dean of the Eller College. “Eller Wildcats are indeed the very best in the country, whether on the sports field or court, or in the classroom or boardroom.”
More than 2,200 students from 43 colleges and universities participated in the annual PricewaterhouseCoopers Accounting case competition. In addition to providing an opportunity to test presentation skills in a real-world setting, the competition offers the chance to learn more about high-level accounting policy issues and compete for cash prizes at the local and national levels. The UA winning team was awarded $10,000, plus an additional $10,000 to allocate to DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that supports public school teachers and their students.
Top image of the winning Eller team: Ryan Mendoza, Andrew Finsterwald, Derick Haboush, Spencer Shugrue.