13 February 2014

KPMG International Case Competition: Team Ignite Advances to the Nationals, with a Chance to Compete Internationally in Brazil

Entering a competition while at university was something that each of us had on our bucket lists, so when we heard about the annual KPMG International Case Competition (KICC), we knew we had to give it a shot.

KICC is a global competition run by KPMG that replicates the work that KPMG consultants do, calling for teams of four students to analyse a case study, develop solutions and pitch it to their consultants - all within three hours. This year, the winning team of both the state and national heats has the opportunity to represent their country in Brazil for four days of competition and networking.

As great friends, and having worked as a group for the Business School’s management consulting capstone unit, we formed Team Ignite. Our team consists of Jeremy Dean (Accounting & Finance) as our IT expert, Matt Juchau (Finance (Hons.) & Accounting) as our finance guru, Charles De Souza (Marketing & International Business) as our budding management consultant, and myself, Katie Russett (Accounting & Law) bringing the accounting focus. 

In our application, we were able to convince the judges that we had the necessary skills and experience to potentially be the top team for Australia, and were invited to the state heats.

To kick off the competition, we had a day of training at the Sydney KPMG office, consisting of an intensive workshop on how to analyse case studies and solve business problems. The next day, we faced our first case study: a 20 page case asking us to advise TripAdvisor on how best to ensure their success amidst a rapidly changing environment in each of their lines of operation. Despite seeming reasonably achievable at first glance, after taking half an hour to simply read through the case and the details of the appendices, we realised that this was really going to test our business knowledge and whether we could put what we had learned from university into practice. To complicate things further, we were not allowed any internet access or notes. Despite our best efforts to budget our time, it was definitely a rush to the finish, and at the three hour mark, we had to face the judges, hoping to convince them that we had the best solutions for TripAdvisor.

To our delight and amazement, we won the state heat! And now, a few months later, we will face the national finals this Friday, with the prize being the chance to represent Australia in São Paolo, Brazil.

It was such a great experience working under intense pressure and seeing how we were able to perform, so we were happy to have just participated in the competition, let alone be announced as the winner for NSW.  Credit also goes to Team Monopoly, another University of Sydney team, who were announced as the runners up.  Now, with a chance to represent Australia on the line, it is back to the study notes and practice case studies for us, and fingers crossed for Team Ignite from NSW!

Katie Russett
Current student at The University of Sydney Business School.

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