Deloitte Consulting held their first annual “Battle of the Beltway” competition at the University of Richmond on October 26, and eight Robins School of Business students competed in the challenge.

Rick Zullo R’07, who works in Strategy and Operations at Deloitte, was instrumental in executing the event on campus. According to Zullo, the event is a regional case competition amongst Deloitte’s target campuses for federal consulting recruiting.

This year, campus case competitions took place at Georgetown University, American University, the George Washington University, Wake Forest University, the College of William and Mary, Howard University, Princeton University, and the University of Richmond.

“The case process is applicable across all professional experiences (consulting or not) by requiring sound problem solving, analytical capacity and the ability to build and deliver effective presentations. Students participating in competition gain exposure to the consulting world with the rare opportunity to showcase their abilities to Deloitte leadership,” Zullo said.

In past years, Deloitte’s competition has only been conducted at colleges and universities in the Washington, DC, area. Richmond was targeted this year mainly for recruiting objectives.

“They were expanding the number of schools they wanted to recruit at overall and saw Richmond as a fit for their firm, based on geographic location, caliber of student and caliber and reputation of education,” said Joe Testani, Associate Director of the Career Development Center, who assisted in the coordination of the competition.

The winning team was made up of four female Robins School of Business students: Shuo Sun, a sophomore from Hong Kong University majoring in business and administration, information systems; Rae Tan, a junior from the University of Edinburgh majoring in business studies and economics; Ling Wang, a sophomore from Hong Kong University majoring in economics and finance; and Yujia Zhai a sophomore from Hong Kong University majoring in economics and finance.

Two teams of four students each participated in the event and had the opportunity to refine their analytical and presentation skills.

“I believe they benefited from the fact that they had a chance to tackle a case that had real-time implications, and they were able to present to a group of people that had industry experience. The competition will be invaluable as they go through their job search process and interact with professionals in the field,” said Testani.

Zhai appreciated the real-world aspect of the case that she and her team worked on.

“I learned about how to analyze a case [and] how to find what a client might want during the preparation and discussion for the presentation. It gave me real-world case knowledge which I might encounter in a future career, and it helped me to recognize what kind of work I will do if I enter the consulting industry,” she said.

Zullo sees the competition providing relevance to industries even out of the scope of consulting. “The case process is applicable across all professional experiences (consulting or not) by requiring sound problem solving, analytical capacity and the ability to build and deliver effective presentations. Students that gain exposure to these critical skill sets early on have a distinct advantage over those who do not,” he said.

The four winning students were unable to advance and compete with winners from other included schools because of their citizenship status. However, the competition was still an invaluable experience for them.

“It’s definitely a good experience, no matter for your knowledge enhancement or career preparation,” Ling Wang, winning student participant said.