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Lead The Way - By Hamza Mahmood

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Fast Pace to the Case (FPC) started as a small, internal case competition at DeGroote about seven years ago and since then has blossomed into one of the most highly anticipated, challenging and rewarding events hosted by the DeGroote Accounting Association. Teams of four from across Canada come and compete for a chance to win $4000 along with other exceptional prizes. I want to provide some insight on this very important role based on my experience as a former volunteer and share with you a few tips on how to take full advantage of this amazing opportunity.

Preparations:

The night before the event, I arrived at the hotel where FPC was set to take place along with some other volunteers and the DAA executive team. Our time was spent creating name tags for the attendees, making ‘swag bags’ and placing projectors and screens in presentations rooms. Although these tasks seemed insignificant and tedious at first, they proved to be of great help the following day. Having visited the hotel the night before allowed me to familiarize myself with the location and I was able utilize this knowledge to help delegates navigate their way to different rooms. I was able to respond to inquiries from judges and sponsors in an effective manner which ensured the event ran smoothly. Since, the executive team was also present at the venue, it made for a great time to ask any last minute questions.

Tip #1: Check the name tags to see if you have previously met some of the recruiters attending the event. Shoot them an email letting them know you’re looking forward to seeing them!
Tip #2: Since the event is business formal, have your attire ready the night before and make sure you’re not missing anything.

The Big Day:

The competition day started bright and early and soon after opening remarks, I began my duty as a time keeper for the case presentations. The job of a time keeper might not sound very exciting to everyone however, it was easily my favourite part of the day. As someone who likes to participate in case competitions myself, this was a great opportunity for me to learn simply by watching other teams present. I kept track of time while simultaneously observing how delegates utilized their critical thinking, teamwork, communication, problem solving and time-management skills. What was even more interesting was listening to the judges deliberate and assess each team’s performance afterwards. The judges, being industry professionals, were quick to notice any incorrect calculations and even made remarks about how well delegates were dressed. Believe it or not, teams who coordinated their outfits earned some brownie points. Aside from my role as a time keeper, I helped the team by printing documents, calculating final scores and grabbing coffee for those who needed their dose of caffeine to get through the day. My fellow volunteers worked as score keepers, room inspectors and team monitors. 

Tip #4: Take initiative and try to help out wherever you can. Not only would this give you exposure to different aspects of the competitions but would provide a lot of flexibly for the rest of the team.
Tip #5: This should be a no-brainer but bring your business cards and get some face time with the recruiters, speakers and DeGroote Alumni.               

Next Step:

The event concluded at the hotel lounge where all FPC attendees gathered for a relaxed mixer. The winners were celebrated and everyone enjoyed themselves at the end of the night. As I reflect back on what had been a fantastic FPC 2015, I was left both inspired and motivated. It was certainly one of the highlights of my first year at Mac and being a volunteer at the event added that much more value. I was not only able to observe and benefit from the presentations and workshops, but I got to witness what goes on behind the scenes during the planning stages of this incredible event. To say the least, being an FPC volunteer helped me grow on a personal and professional level and I am so excited to be a part it again this March as a DAA executive.

Tip #6: Talk to external delegates. This is a great way to meet new people and share ideas. Tell them what DeGroote is all about and ask them if they have any events coming up at their school that peak your interest.

Tip #7: Attending FPC as a volunteer also bring you one step closer to attaining your “Outstanding Member of the Year” Award!

So what are you waiting for? Click here to Lead the Way