Eastern Business Students Take 2024 Drexel Fraud & Internal Control Case Competition By Storm

drexelThis past February, Eastern University’s College of Business & Leadership sent four teams of students to compete in the Drexel Fraud & Internal Control Case Competition, hosted by Drexel LeBow’s Department of Accounting. 

This year, EU student teams took home 1st, 3rd, and 4th place despite intense competition from much larger schools such as Drexel University, Temple University, La Salle University, and St. Joseph’s University.  The recent event was the 10th annual competition and the 8th year that Eastern has participated.  Amazingly, this was the fourth, first-place finish for Eastern and 2024 was the most successful engagement thus far with three EU teams placing in the top six and winning cash prizes up to $375 per student. 

Each year, the event begins with a kickoff on Monday evening where student teams are presented with cases inspired by real-life business events.  They receive most of the information, but a few key details are left out.  During the week, students are encouraged to review the data, think about the business risk environment and what pressures exist to behave unethically. At the competition, teams are given the remaining case data and have three and a half hours to review the information provided. The students then present a comprehensive analysis with recommendations to a panel of judges who are allotted time to ask follow up questions before they rank the teams. The top six teams then present again before all the judges and field additional follow up questions before the final ranking.

Local area business leaders volunteer as team coaches and judges, offering students the opportunity to practice risk assessment, identify how those risks may affect business decisions, and think about what controls a company can put in place to mitigate those risks and keep ethical practices a part of their culture. 

“Real world cases where students can showcase their analytical, data analysis, and critical thinking skills in a professional setting are incredibly important for students in the College of Business and Leadership,” says Lorie Thomas, Affiliate Faculty, Accounting and Finance. “Events like this one open the door for students to build problem solving and teamwork skills in the moment and under time pressure, practice presentation skills, enhance leadership skills, build self-esteem, and analyze business information to develop a mindset of professional skepticism, a skill the PCAOB states is missing in many audits. This competition encourages students to dig deeper into their risk assessment and business analysis capabilities by fostering friendly competition inspired by issues they may one day face in the real world.” 

Students have the added bonus of developing relationships with business leaders in the region with whom they can network and develop mentor relationships that extend beyond the event and can help to inspire or impact their future careers.

“The best part of the experience for me was getting to develop my teamwork skills,” says Cheyenne Phillips, an Eastern student on one of the winning teams. “To produce a thorough analysis in the short time frame allotted, you not only have to be aware of your own strengths that you bring to the table, but you also have to learn your teammates' strengths to be able to collaborate effectively.”

Learn more about the Case Competition and keep up to date with the College of Business & Leadership!

About Eastern University

Eastern University is a Christian university enrolling approximately 7,500 students in its undergraduate, graduate, and seminary programs. The university’s main campus is located in St. Davids, PA, with many programs available online. Eastern’s core values of faith, reason, and justice are woven into all of its educational programs. For more information visit eastern.edu or contact Ally Rosario, Director of Marketing & Communications: ally.rosario@eastern.edu.