Business Illini Advance to National PwC xACT Case Competition
Newsflash 12/14/2010: More on this topic
by Sarah Small
There is an old expression that says all good things come in threes, but ILLINOIS may soon need to rewrite the phrase to include good things coming in fours, because for the fourth year in a row, a team of ILLINOIS students has advanced to the national round of the PricewaterhouseCoopers xACT case competition.
With this advancement, the College of Business is making history because no other university has ever been represented four times in a row the way ILLINOIS has, said John Hedeman, assistant dean.
“The students are excited, obviously, really excited,” he said. “But the pressure is on for our team to be clearly the best at the competition.”
With two national championships under its belt from 2009 and 2010, ILLINOIS will be the school to beat at the January 21, 2011 competition.
“Now is when the extra effort needs to be put in,” Hedeman said. “PwC wants to spread the wealth around, so our team has to be that much better than the others.”
This year’s team is comprised of students new to the competition. None of last year’s competitors are on the team again. The students are Daniel Ettleson, Steven Heiss, Nighath Hussain, Stephanie Korinek and Eric Rosenbaum. Hedeman said the fact that each team sent to the national competition has had different students each of the last three years is a tremendous advantage; each has its own style, and no sense of an “ILLINOIS type” has formed.
Hedeman describes the student excitement around the xACT competition, and other competitions, to be a “snowball effect.” Students are seeing the performances and the success of their peers in case competitions and want to take their place among the celebrated elite.
“It sounds simple, but once a standard is set, students see the standards and work hard to meet and exceed them,” Hedeman said. “It’s the idea that students are setting even higher standards to meet.”
Perhaps it’s due to the incredible admission standards of each new class, or maybe it’s the result of fantastic faculty leadership. Whatever the cause, five hard-working business students with the ability, the desire, and a winning legacy will meet the challenge of a lifetime next month in New York. There they will compete with other great students from around the country for a chance at the national title and the satisfaction that comes with it.