CPA offers uni undergrads a ‘big break’

Posted July 25, 2012, by Molly Wiltshire-Bridle

Aspiring student entrepreneurs are being offered an exciting opportunity to kick-start their careers with The CPA Big Break Project 2012.

The annual competition invites undergraduates to apply their business acumen and lateral thinking skills to a real world business challenge currently facing a not-for-profit organisation.

Up for grabs is an enticing bevy of prizes, including $20,000 in cash and a CPA Program Scholarship for the winning entry.

This year, The CPA Big Break Project has partnered with Make-A-Wish® in a bid to tackle some of the issues faced by the organisation’s Australian and New Zealand constituents.

Although the competition targets budding business, finance and accounting enthusiasts, any CPA Passport members studying at a CPA-accredited Australian or New Zealand higher education institution are free to enter.

For Ben Abraham and Matt Dawson, The CPA Big Break Project 2011 winners, the competition has served as an invaluable platform for ongoing professional development.

‘The Big Break comp definitely gave me the confidence to step out and to actually take on a few of the things that I’ve wanted to do’, says Abraham, a commerce student. ‘Just having the chance to put your ideas and thoughts in front of some of these big players – it’s a great opportunity’.

Working in conjunction with social welfare publication, The Big Issue, the duo devised an innovative strategy that hinged on using sporting clubs to boost subscriptions throughout regional NSW. For engineering and commerce student Dawson, the idea of community outreach, and of doing ‘something that was real’, was crucial.

‘We didn’t so much look at it in terms of “how can we answer this”, we really wanted to look at it in terms of “how can we really set ourselves apart”’, he reflects.

The notion of ‘think + create’ is at the crux of The CPA Big Break Project’s rationale. Competition entrants are encouraged not only to think analytically, but also to get creative.

‘In terms of coming up with ideas, we had plenty’, says Dawson. ‘Actually, I’d say that was our biggest problem – trying to cut all of our ideas down!’

If, like Abraham and Dawson, you have a knack for innovative thinking, coupled with business savvy, then The CPA Big Break Project could be your career launch pad.

With the impressive prize pool including over $100,000 in cash and prizes, alongside the opportunity to network with high-profile industry leaders, it might just be your ‘big break’.

‘You’re kind of mad not to be trying to get in their [CPA’s] good books from the start because they really do have the connections that will make things happen for you’, asserts Abraham. ‘The ability to get your name on their radar nice and early is never a bad thing’.

Registrations for The CPA Big Break Project 2012 are currently open. The first Make/Break Challenge question is due for submission on 22 August 2012, so there’s still plenty of time to think + create your way to success.

To find out more, visit The CPA Big Break Project website.

To get the entrepreneurial skills you need, check out our range of accounting, business and finance courses. 

Molly Wiltshire-Bridle

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