Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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My Experience with the GDipPA Case Competitions - Ivana, Class of 2023

As a GDipPA student at Rotman, you will participate in two case competitions, thus providing an opportunity for you to apply your in-class knowledge in a group setting. Personally, the case competitions allowed me to advance my skillset, and further prepared me for my CFE.

To provide some background, case competitions are two-day events. The first day kicks-off with a program-wide presentation, where you are seated with your teammates. From there, each group is assigned a study room where they have from case release at 10am to 4pm to formulate their presentation. This will take lots of hard work and concentration but will be well worth it! The following day, each group is assigned a time slot to present their case solution in front a panel of three to four business professionals. This are individuals from different industries, with different business experiences. From there, four finalists are chosen, and they present in front of all the judges and their fellow classmates. Finally, a winning group is declared after deliberation, which is followed by a reception.

To start, working with my fellow classmates, I got to further my communication and teamwork skills. Before diving into the case, it is key to discuss your teammates’ strengths and weaknesses to properly assign responsibilities. The entire presentation should be integrated, and it is therefore essential to communicate and ensure the different sections flow seamlessly. Without proper teamwork, your case conclusion and recommendation may be unclear to your audience. In addition, I developed my critical thinking skills, as the case competitions force you to think on your feet. You will get to apply the different concepts you learned in class via case debriefs, to a more interactive environment. However, some areas of the case may have no one definitive answer. For example, for my first case competition, we were asked to provide advice on ESG matters. This was an opportunity for my group to show case our creativity when problem solving.

Finally, through the case competitions, I advanced my time management skills, and I learned the importance of time allocation. When writing cases, you will always be faced with the pressure of time; this pressure became extremely evident to me during the case competitions. With this, they allowed me to really buy-in to the idea of budgeting my time, not only in a team setting, but also when writing individual cases. From this, I saw massive improvements in my case writing. To add, the progress you make throughout the program will become evident as you compare your results and level of confidence from the first case competition to the second.

Overall, I believe the case competitions were a valuable experience within the GDipPA program. As I have since entered the corporate world, I get to apply the skills I have developed on an everyday basis. As well, the case competitions will serve as a great reference for Capstone 1, as I continue my CPA journey.

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