Klaus-Peter Göbel, a Johannesburg student who competed in the 2015 KPMG International Case Competition with three other University of Johannesburg (UJ) students from the Accountancy Department, shares his experience of competing at the highest student level while at UJ.
The team jetted off to Dubai to compete against other bright minds from 27 countries around the world to represent South Africa at the 2015 KPMG competition finals. They were the only African students to take part in the competition.
Rethinking and reinventing business strategies, innovative ideas tackling complex real-world business issues and well-executed presentations have won the four member student accounting team the National Round of the 2015 KPMG International Case Competition, earning them a ticket to Dubai. KPMG is a global network of professional financial services firms that provides Audit, Tax and Advisory services.
At the 2015 International Competition, the Accountancy@UJ team was evaluated on their level of insight, innovation and enthusiasm when they were presented with a case study on which they needed to provide strategic intelligence. For each round of the competition, the participating teams had three hours to carefully review, identify and analyse key business issues in order to develop gripping recommendations in a professional presentation to the judges of the competition.
UJ spoke to Klaus-Peter Göbel his at the 2015 KPMG International Case Competition
UJ: How would you describe your contribution to the team (in terms of what you bring in as an individual)?
KPG: I helped to identify the main issues/challenges that the business faced as a whole. I contributed towards finding the solutions so that the business can be successful. We all delivered our findings, as a team, in the form of a power point presentation.
UJ: You won the national round of the competition – this must mean that you are good – what did you do differently to outshine the locals?
KPG: All of us had the following:
We had the talent to speak with confidence and conviction in front of a board of directors (the judges) and a crowd, i.e. no stage fright.
Given that all four of us are studying Bachelor of Accounting, we do have a strong business understanding. We understand the fundamental financial principles behind a business. This helped us to solve the financial problems of the given businesses that we worked on.
We all knew of recent events in the business world – we had a good general knowledge. This helped us to identify issues and to rank them.
UJ: Competing on an international stage: What did you learn from that?
KPG: We learned that it is critical for a business to show innovation in the products and services that it delivers in order to ultimately create value and wealth for shareholders.
UJ: You must have learned a few things from competing in Dubai: What do you think you gained there that you will apply to your career going forward?
KPG: I realised that one needs to continuously develop his/her understanding of how all types of businesses need to function in order to be successful.
UJ: How would you rate the quality of UJ Accountancy education standards compared to other international Accounting institutions?
KPG: I rate it as the best in the world. If one has a look at the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, it shows that South Africa is number 1 out of 144 countries when it comes to “Strength of Auditing and Reporting Standards”.
UJ: How has UJ contributed to your academic growth?
KPG: By providing us with excellent lecturers. It is as simple as that. What also helps is how they integrate what they teach us with real life scenarios.
UJ: What are your future plans regarding your career?
KPG: To become a successful entrepreneur who adds value to people’s lives.
UJ: What would you say to upcoming or current students that are inspired by your success?
KPG: Read as much as possible, things such as The Economist, Financial Mail, general news, etc. Even just reading 10 minutes each night before bed will make a difference.