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Elon students win national finance/accounting contest

A team of four Elon University business school students won first place this month in a national case competition that measured the ability to interpret, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and communicate a solution to a management accounting problem.

Elon University students (from left) Jeff Colgan, Claire Tamer, Jamie Milliski and Sam Upton.

MBA candidate Jeff Colgan, Claire Tamer '11, and rising seniors Jamie Milliski and Sam Upton took top honors in the Institute of Management Accountants Student Case Competition held June 5, 2011, in Orlando, Fla. IMA is the largest U.S. association for accountants and financial professionals in business.

This year’s case, “TransGlobal Airlines,” required students to analyze the profitability of a previously government-owned airline in a small republic that now must compete in an open economy. The requirements included a review of each market segment, determining the breakeven passenger volume for several routes, a SWOT analysis and a recommended strategy for the firm.

Competition rules required the teams to complete the case without direction or input in regards to solving the case from anyone, including the faculty advisor, who at Elon was lecturer Paula Weller.

Twenty-five teams submitted their solutions in December 2010 via a DVD for judging. Not knowing the team’s school affiliation or student names, judges across the country selected the top eight schools in the first round and the top four schools in the second round.

The top four teams – Elon, the University of Southern Indiana, Western Illinois University, and Wright State University – were invited to present in person their case solutions before a set of judges at IMA’s annual conference. Elon scored the highest marks at the conference.

A copy of the case was published in the August 2010 issue of Strategic Finance and the Elon University team’s solution will be available through IMA by contacting Jodi Ryan at jryan@imanet.org.

Colgan, of Greensboro, N.C., works for LabCorp in Burlington, N.C.; Tamer, of Ellicott City, Md., has accepted a position with IBM in Raleigh; Milliski, of Hockessin, Del., and Upton, of Wake Forest, N.C., are interning this summer at KPMG.

Eric Townsend,
6/13/2011 8:19 AM