April 4, 2023Print | PDF
Two students from the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University were part of the Canadian finalist team at the 2023 Accuracy Business Cup in Paris, France. Congratulations to Grace Bilodeau and Sean Cornelius, along with their teammate, Karen Zhuang from McGill, for ranking as one of the top teams, surpassing over 400 teams internationally to take a spot in the finals.
The Accuracy Business Cup is a three-phase competition, hosted by financial services company, Accuracy, giving students the opportunity to work on an international financial and strategic business case. With preliminary rounds organized by local Accuracy offices, winners from the national phase move onto the international competition at Accuracy’s global headquarters in Paris, France. This year, 1,230 candidates, forming 410 teams from nine participating countries (Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Morocco, Spain, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) participated in the challenge.
This year’s partner company was Accor, the largest hospitality company in Europe and the sixth largest hospitality company worldwide. The first case consisted of a stock evaluation, followed by a national final that asked each team to suggest and model an acquisition into a new market, geography, or product category. The final case asked each national winner to analyze Accor’s brands and isolate one that showed the most potential for future growth.
We are proud to celebrate the success of our students on the international stage, and had the opportunity to hear more from Grace and Sean about their experience in Paris.
Grace Bilodeau is a fourth-year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with Co-op student in the strategic management concentration with a legal studies option. Sean Cornelius is a fourth-year BBA student in the strategic management concentration, and a member of the Laurier Case Team.
The first case consisted of a stock evaluation for the case sponsor, Accor Group, followed by a national final that asked each team to suggest and model an acquisition into a new market, geography, or product category. The final, held in-person in Paris, France, asked each national winner to analyze Accor’s brands and isolate one that showed the most potential for future growth.
Our team pitched an investment in Accor’s midscale line to further attract digital-nomad travelers; a growing trend, especially amongst younger consumers looking to work and live from anywhere.
The national final was held at Accuracy’s Toronto and Montreal offices and the global final was held at their headquarters in Paris, France.
We participated in networking events with Accuracy and Accor staffers as well as got to spend some time with the other finalists both before, during and after the competition.
The competition was held at the Accuracy Headquarters in Paris. Other schools that participated in the competition included ENSAE Paris, HEC Paris, Esade School of Management, the Indian Institute of Management, Universita Bocconi, Ecole Mohammedia D’Indenuiers, Rotterdam School of Management, London School of Management (LSE).
I’ve been a part of JDCC/Laurier Case Team for the past two years in addition to competing in other cases with other students. I owe a ton to the case practices from the program specifically as it’s given me a fairly robust repository of case questions, framework applications and case studies to use in competitions like this. I’ve always enjoyed the blend of creative problem solving, research and intuition, and storytelling that goes into perfecting a presentation. It’s something that I’ve used in my internships and will continue to develop further into my career. - Sean
Despite not being on a formal case team, I developed a passion for cases after placing third in the BU111 Case Competition! Since then, I’ve participated in case competitions locally and internationally. I get bored quickly so the opportunity to work in different industries excites me. I also love the thrill of presenting and answering Q&As, the adrenaline from time constraints, and the overall solution process to solve problems. Cases make you more adaptable and have definitely developed my interest in entering consulting. -Grace
Like any skill, some people are naturally more aligned with cases, meaning that everybody will have different needs. I found that the curriculum at the Lazaridis School prepares us well with presentations, competitions, and team work. I mainly only put in time when I have a case competition. For this one, we were given the prompt a week in advance and spent that week as a team prepping. This was done three times for the three separate rounds. In other cases, like ones lasting 24 hours, it’s useful to create a slide deck and read up on the client. Overall, it really depends.
A lot of the competitors got along really well together, and we ended up exploring Paris after the competition with some of the teams, which was really nice. Some of them are locals also so we ended up getting to see some off-the-map places which was really refreshing in a city that’s very tourist-heavy. - Sean
One of my favourite things to do in the world is to sit down at a table with individuals from different countries. After the competition was done, regardless of ranking, we ate dinner and socialized with three other countries, learning about their experiences and listening to their stories! This will probably be the last case competition I do, and I cannot highlight how much I’ve enjoyed the entire process. If you’re still in school next year, I cannot recommend applying to this enough. - Grace