A team of Colorado State University accounting and finance students, led by Associate Professor Margarita Lenk in the College of Business, recently took second place at the national KPMG/ALFPA (Association for Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting) business case competition in Orlando, Fla.
The students involved in the competition were Angelina Alvarado, David Fox, Emily Manchego, Carlos Orozco and Marco Rivero. KPMG named Orozco one of the nation’s 50 "Future Diversity Leaders," earning him scholarships and participation in annual leadership development seminars.
Students spend several months in advance of the competition on an assigned corporate case, identifying accounting and tax issues, seeking advice of industry professionals and organizing their findings to present to the company’s board of directors at the competition.
At the awards luncheon banquet – attended by more than 3,000 accounting and finance professionals – the chief executive officers of KPMG and ALPFA commented on Colorado State’s consistently strong teams over the past three years, Lenk said. They also noted they are confident in the high quality of professional education that is occurring at Colorado State’s College of Business, Lenk said.
"This KPMG/ALPFA business case program has uniquely strong elements that create a profound and long-lasting transformation in these students," Lenk said. "They not only learn the technical and business risks of the case, they also learn to persevere over months of ambiguous and complex research, to critically think and work as a team, to reach a defendable position, and to translate their technical jargon-filled decisions into a professional, quality presentation that has logically organized, understandable recommendations for a company’s board of directors.
"This combination of professional skills is difficult to replicate in the classroom, and represents an excellent example of how curricular and co-curricular programming can work together in the complete development of our students."
The competition also provides students access to a national network of KPMG professionals and limitless job opportunities, Lenk said.
Arizona State University placed first in the competition. The other 23 top business schools Colorado State beat to place second:
University of Texas – Austin
University of Southern California
University of Washington
University of California – Berkeley
University of Arizona
University of Massachusetts – Amherst
University of New Mexico
New Mexico State University
Southern Methodist University
Florida International University
University of Texas – San Antonio
University of Houston
Georgia State University
San Diego State University
University of Texas – Pan American
University of Puerto Rico
St. Mary’s College of California
University of Texas at Arlington
Queens College in New York