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Business School student wins prestigious 'Mission Exceptional' competition

28 Oct 2013

This year's prestigious Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia 'Mission Exceptional' competition has been won by Shreya Viswanathan, a Bachelor of Commerce student at the University of Sydney Business School.

The national Mission Exceptional competition required participants to apply the business acumen, creative thinking and analytical skills acquired at university to "real-life" business challenges.

Asked to present a strategy to improve the profit margin of a fictional company, Ms Viswanathan was judged by a high powered panel of business leaders to have delivered the "most analytical and well-executed business case".

Ms Viswanathan's prize includes a trip to New York in December to job shadow a Chartered Accountant at American Express and a scholarship to the Chartered Accountants Program.

"I feel that this is an opportunity of a lifetime and I just can't wait," Ms Viswanathan said. "I hope I get a flavour of living and working in America and I also want to gain some invaluable international experience and exposure."

In congratulating Ms Viswanathan, the Institute's CEO Mr Lee White praised her in-depth analysis and strength of delivery.

He went on to say that all finalists "demonstrated critical thinking and strong business ideas".

"The quality of the presentations was outstanding," Mr White said. "It's not an easy task to pitch business ideas in a boardroom scenario, but each team presented engaging arguments."

He said the students who participated in Mission Exceptional would benefit from the experience of being challenged in a corporate environment.

"Exposure to the real-life corporate world is priceless for university students. We hope this experience serves as a platform for success in their future careers," Mr White added. "We are delighted by the high standard of responses to this challenge. It's a great indicator of the quality of students looking to enter the profession."

The judging panel included Mr White, PwC Australia CEO Luke Sayers, American Express Australia and New Zealand CFO Neil Batenburg, Director on the Board of United Nations Global Compact Network Australia and Group Corporate Social Responsibility Manager for Treasury Wine Estates Olivia Tyler and Director of Australian Red Cross Jan West AM.