On October 27, twenty five students from the University of Connecticut School of Business were invited to participate in PwC’s annual case competition. They broken down into five separate teams and each were assigned a PwC mentor and a faculty mentor from the School of Business. The teams had two weeks to create a strategy to push Country’s Best convenience store, a real-world client of PwC, to full automation. Each team was allotted ten minutes to present their ideas towards a solution in front of a judging panel of PwC’s senior management. Following the presentation, the judging panel had ten minutes to ask any questions they had in regards to the project.
The team represented by Michael Greco (’21), Scott Kwon (’21), Tiffany Cheung (’20), Xiangyu Mu (’19), and Karina Zhao (’20) was mentored by MIS Academic Director, Jonathan Moore. “Our team’s plan of action was to implement automation in stages across the different tiers, grow a loyalty program, and introduce a private label in the stores. We wanted to adjust to the changing market environment while maintaining the close-knit, community feel of Country’s Best,” said Karina Zhao, a sophomore accounting major.
Although the case was heavily focused on the accounting and finance fields, the team was able to include their knowledge from a variety of their business courses, specifically marketing and management, in order to build their action plan. Case competitions are “a great opportunity to apply knowledge you learn in business classes, meet new people, and network with professionals,” said Karina. They allow students to get the exposure to the real world that is unparalleled in the classroom.