Winners of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) Trust Builders Challenge 2018 won a trip to Vietnam, internship opportunities with the company and a job shadowing PwC’s senior management last month.
The three final year accounting and finance students from Taylor’s University, who named their team Confianza, were Marcus Liaw Jia Yoong, Wendy Huang Shi Qi and Ong Shu Yi. They beat nine teams from other higher learning institutions to win the top prize.
Each team was required to submit a written case solution on how to rebuild trust with investors, suppliers, employees and the public, as well as a 30-second video on the topic of “Why is Trust Important for Companies”.
The case presented was about an
employee-turned-whistleblower revealing that a sales agency was deliberately paying its female staff less commission than their male counterparts.
Confianza team leader Liaw said: “All three of us are doing our internship. Finding the time to prepare for the competition was a challenge for us. We conducted our preparations only after work late in the evening.
“To overcome these challenges, we consulted Taylor’s lecturers to guide us from the preliminary stage and PwC assigned two mentors who were helpful and provided insights. We set aside time daily to prepare for the competition and ensured that everything was done properly.”
Ten teams were selected to enter the finals, and each team were required to present a solution on how to rebuild trust, focusing on employees within five minutes, followed by a 15-minute question and answer session.
“As team leader, getting the team to stay motivated amidst our hectic schedules was a challenge. Thankfully, our members were understanding and we encouraged each other to hang on until the end,” Liaw said, adding that he found the contest a memorable experience.
On top of winning the challenge with his team members, Liaw also took home the Best Presenter award for his natural and calm presentation style.
“I did not expect to win Best Presenter. I always held on to the principle that I should do everything to my very best so that the outcome would not disappoint. Winning the award was an added joy for my team and Taylor’s University.
“I was overwhelmed with joy when my name was called, as I was not given the chance to watch the presentation of other teams during the finals and make
comparisons. I practiced my script in front of the mirror for a few days to be as natural as I could. I asked my team mates to give their input on my presentation. With the help of my teammates, I managed to pull it off,” he added.
Fellow team member, Ong said the competition pushed him out of his comfort zone and it allowed him to explore his strengths, as well as boost his confidence.
“I have learnt the importance of trust in a company, and how it can serve as a solid foundation for the organisation. It takes years to build trust but just seconds to destroy it. Without it, even the most successful company can crumble. This experience has expanded my knowledge on how trust can be rebuilt and it allowed me the chance to utilise the strategies that I have gained for future situations.
“This competition is a stepping-stone towards the next level of success. I’m grateful to have represented Taylor’s University.”
He added that he looked forward to taking part in such contests in the future.
Meanwhile, Huang is grateful for the support she was given by Taylor’s Business School and its Career Service Centre throughout the competition.
“They had been a great support to Confianza throughout the competition, especially during the finals. Besides the experience, we got the opportunity to utilise the knowledge and skills we learnt from our modules in business school in this contest. What we had gained in the classroom made us better prepared with our presentation and delivering of solutions to the problem.”
Taylor’s University Business School head Dr Vinitha Guptan congratulated Confianza on its achievement, and said the future was bright for the three students.
“I’m proud of their achievement and I know that I will hear more about them in future. They have proven that passion and perseverance pay if you put your mind to something.”
She said the business school provided its students the opportunity and exposure to real-world work life experience, and one such example was giving the students the opportunity and mentoring them to compete in national and international competitions.
The PwC Trust Builders Challenge 2018, allows students to be exposed to real-life issues faced by companies, why trust is an integral part in a company, and what it takes to succeed in business. It challenges students to display their critical thinking skills and business acumen by presenting a solution to rebuild trust in business. In addition, students will be able to apply what they have learnt in modules like Business Ethics and Values.