A group of sophomore Strobel honors students from the School of Accountancy & MIS placed first at the 20th annual Deloitte FanTAXtic Case Competition East Coast Region that took place virtually in October 2020 – making it the second consecutive year that DePaul students win this competition in one of the country’s nine regions.
The students, Sarah Feroz, Brenyel Ison, Hinal Patel, Chaitanya Rathod and Viktoriya Ulman, competed against teams from New York University, the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and the University of Mississippi.
“As their faculty advisor for the competition, I am very happy to see them grow and rise to the challenge,” says Associate Professor Mingjun Zhou. “In this unusual and difficult time of our lives, I’m proud to see our students outshine their peers in top business schools on the East Coast.”
The competition involved a simulation in which the students were asked to research and present tax solutions for a traditional manufacturing company that is looking to make new IT equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic to support remote learning and working. Students were given three weeks to prepare a 25-slide deck and create a ten-minute presentation for two Deloitte partners.
“Our students’ quick grasp of the underlying concepts and their work ethic to learn and perfect the presentation is what made the difference,” says Zhou.
The winning team noted that the competition provided an early look into the tax side of the accounting industry. “None of us had any exposure to tax prior to this competition,” says Viktoriya Ulman, one of the team members. “I think we all worked so well together because we approached this case with teamwork in mind. We learned and solved the case together, with the understanding that none of us had any knowledge of tax. It gave us the motivation to learn from each other.”
“I have never taken a tax class, so I really enjoyed being introduced to tax in such an interactive and collaborative way,” says Brenyel Ison, another team member. “I learned so many valuable skills that I have no doubt will be helpful in the future.”
The team advanced to the virtual Deloitte FanTAXtic national competition in January 2021 and received an honorable mention, bringing home a total of three thousand dollars in individual scholarships and institutional awards to the School of Accountancy & MIS.
By Shameer Riaz