A team of Baylor students won the national xTAX competition in Washington, D.C., sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers in January.
This is the third time in five years that a Baylor team made it to the national finals, and the first win. The team members include captain Brinn Serbanic, BBA '08, MTA '08, Abby Haston, BBA '08, MTA '08, senior Tristan Vick, and sophomores Kathryn Mothershead and Justin Bexley. The team was coached by Dr. Brett Wilkinson, associate professor of accounting.
"PwC's xTAX competition has become such a winning tradition at Baylor. We were so proud to be the first team to actually bring home the trophy for Baylor," Serbanic said.
Nationwide, 375 teams and 1,875 students competed. The other participants at the national competition were Bentley College, Brigham Young University, the University of Texas and the University of Wisconsin. All of the students on the top five teams were offered internships with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
This year, students were given a case that required them to address tax policy issues for a mock country called "Tarafina," which was facing a presidential election, energy problems (including a high dependence on foreign oil), unemployment and other economic problems. Each team acted as consultants for one of the presidential candidates. They were given two weeks to work with their team and come up with a presentation that "sold" their candidate's policy proposals, which they then had to present to a panel of judges made up of tax professionals.
When asked what made the Baylor team stand out, Haston said, "Our tax proposal was creative yet practical. Our presentation was near flawless, and we worked together effortlessly during the Q&A segment. I believe the judges could sense our enthusiasm and team cohesiveness."
xTAX is a part of the Xtreme games launched in 2002 by PricewaterhouseCoopers to give students the opportunity to test themselves and their decision-making skills in real-world environments.