They called themselves the Dream Team. Accounting majors Lindsay Wickman '13, Taylor Gentry '13, Rachel Bruce '14, and Mitchell Van Dyke '13 headed north on Interstate 5 to compete against teams from seven other universities in the KPMG Financial Accounting Case Competition at Seattle University this April.
The pace was fast, to say the least. At 8:30 a.m., the teams received the case—a multilayered puzzler concerning Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and its recent battery problems.
They had just three hours to determine how Boeing should have disclosed the Dreamliner's issues and what the implication might be for the company's financial reporting.
"It's a very high pressure environment. You have to work together and you have to be efficient," said Professor Steve Matsunaga, who organized the team and accompanied it to the event.
The Dream Team rose to the challenge, turning around a sharp analysis and a polished presentation. The judges—all drawn from KPMG's Seattle office—responded in kind, awarding the top prize to the Lundquist College students. This is the first win for a UO team in the four years our students have entered the contest.
"The judges mentioned that confidence and engaging with the audience were keys in determining the winner, and I think that doing so many presentations in business classes was excellent practice," said Wickman.
"We won a $3,000 cash prize, shared among the four of us. And we got the bragging rights—not an insignificant prize, if you ask me," said Bruce.