By ARMANDO HARMON
The Department of Business and Accounting and the business club at Pima Community College took first place at the sixth annual Arizona Community College Excellence Business Case Competition Oct. 6.
The ACCE is a competition that allows students to take on a business case with supporting data and then put together a presentation of the information they gathered.
Pima sent 24 students with six teams and five advisers.
Nancy Meech is the business club adviser and played the role of coordinator for Pima at the ACCE.
The winning team members were Tyler Woodruff in financing; Vivian Quintanar in marketing; Tiffany Rivera in accounting; and Oscar Tena with Isaac Abbs as the team adviser.
Abbs’ job as adviser was to keep the team on track and to give feedback on its presentation.
“Coming in first place was really secondary to the experience the team gained by being put in a real-world situation where they were able to use their creativity along with what they have learned in their course work to solve a business plan,” Abbs said.
The students were given a case regarding a hypothetical international buffet on campus that served food from all over the world. Lunch and dinner were served Mondays through Thursdays, with a brunch service on Fridays.
Each team had a little under three hours to analyze sales and expenditure data as well as survey results from the students. The teams then had to create some recommendations that would result in increased profits and sustainability.
After the given time was up, the students had five minutes to present their case to the judges. Each team was scored based on a rubric created by the officials.
“It was shocking,” Rivera said. “We all are kind of new to the business club, and I don’t think any of us expected it, to actually win.”
Pima has entered teams every year the event has been held, with each team member receiving individual feedback from corporate leaders.
“Business has always been interesting to me,” Tena said. “After working in small fields, I found out through experience, if you are working for someone and put your money and future in their hands and if they don’t make the best decision, then you suffer through that. I decided to put my future in my own hands.”
Woodruff was excited to be a part of the competition.
“I’ve always been interested in the numbers behind businesses, just how they operate,” Woodruff said. “That was what pushed me into business.”
Pima’s business club aims to help students transfer to the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management or other four-year universities. With Eller’s tough application process, the business club can help students make the journey a little bit easier.
“Our biggest goal is to give Pima students the same opportunity that any UA student has to get into the university,” said Avi Landy, Pima Business Club president.
Woodruff, Rivera and Tena all earned a scholarship for their work in competing as well as priority status for transfer scholarships.
“It’s a great opportunity to put ourselves as professionals,” Landy said, “as well to move on with our education.”