November 6, 2021, the American University of Beirut (AUB) Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB) participated in the inaugural PwC Academy-Wiley Virtual Regional Challenge. The winning OSB team members are Ali Choucair, Aren Sassounian, and Hassan Hazime.
“It was truly a great honor for me to represent AUB and OSB in this regional competition. Working in a cooperative, well-organized, and productive team helped enhance my teamwork, communication, and critical thinking skills. This competition, with all its appreciated effort, provided a unique opportunity to grow to apply my skills and enhance my knowledge,” commented Ali Choucair as he expressed his sincere gratitude for this “relevant and worthwhile opportunity.”
The competition tested the participants on their business acumen, digital savviness, and disruptive thinking by means of two assessment criteria: a 45 minute quiz comprising 30 questions, picked from a Test bank of CMA, CPA, and CFA questions and a lengthy case study pertaining to an acquisition opportunity facing an automobile manufacturing company.
According to Hassan Hazime, it was “long days of preparation and commitment” that “nailed the competition”. “Throughout this journey, I met amazing and well-skilled teammates who helped me enhance my leadership and communications skills. With this, I want to thank PwC Academy and Wiley for giving us this amazing opportunity. Looking forward to see more achievements from OSB, which will drive our standards and academic ambitions to higher levels”, he added.
Judges Fareeha Hussain, CFA and Vishal Iyer, CFA - both from PwC’s Academy Middle East - and Judge Zahi Bou Kamel, Wiley Senior Manager, were highly complementary of the logical structure , excellent presentation visuals, use of smooth story-telling, outstanding quality of the recommendations put forth in the case, and, most of all, for their seamless teamwork. The three winners were offered a full-scholarship to pursue any of the CMA, CPA, CFA, or CIA certifications.
Members of the other OSB team, Nazek Baytieh, Bilal Wehbe, Conor Tarek Assoum were also very grateful for the opportunity to experience this competition that honed their teamwork skills, developed their planning and communications abilities, and enhanced their accounting and financial knowledge.
Both OSB teams expressed their gratitude and appreciation to Professor Sana El Hajj, who hand-selected them for this unique opportunity and mentored them through rigorous training sessions spanning a two-month period towards this memorable event.
It is such unique initiatives that enrich the OSB learning experience and equip students “with problem-solving and presentation skills needed to compete and win in the PwC Academy-Wiley challenge”, as Aren Sassounian said” that [he] will remember fondly, helping [him] succeed both inside and outside the classroom.”
OSB is very proud and impressed with the performance of its students and applauds them for their amazing work!
List of participants in the university challenge:
- Middlesex University, UAE
- Abu Dhabi University, UAE
- American University of Sharjah, UAE
- Ajman University of Science and Technology, UAE
- University of Technology, Bahrain
- British University in Egypt, Egypt
- Prince Sultan University, KSA
- Princess Noura University, KSA
- KFUPM, KSA
- AUST, Lebanon
- American University of Beirut, Lebanon