NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- PwC US today announced the 10 college teams that will compete in the national finals of the firm's ninth annual xTREME Games. The xTREME competition builds the critical thinking, teamwork and communication skills of talented undergraduate accounting students nationwide, through real-world business challenges. The program helps to create future business leaders and inspire students' interest in accounting careers while promoting important professional skills. The program celebrated a milestone this year in surpassing 25,000 total participants since launching in 2002.
The latest xTREME competition began with a series of local campus events held last fall at 84 schools across the country. More than 4,500 students competed in five-person teams for the chance to represent their schools at the national level. The Games are held in two divisions: xTAX, short for "Extreme Tax," and xACT, short for "Extreme Accounting." Using teamwork, creativity and problem-solving skills, teams develop and present solutions to actual tax and accounting issues. The five best in each division advance to the finals, earning $10,000 each and an additional $5,000 for their faculty advisors. PwC has awarded nearly $2 million in total xTREME prize money to date.
The five schools that will be represented at the national xACT finals January 20-21 in New York City are: Bucknell University, Emory University, Indiana University, The University of Illinois and The University of Texas.
The five schools that will be represented at the national xTAX finals January 27-28 in Washington, D.C., are: Brigham Young University, Bryant University, The University of California - Berkeley, The University of Houston and The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
"We continue to be impressed by the caliber of students participating in the games," said Jennifer Kennedy, National xTAX Partner Champion at PwC. "Each year, these students find new ways to demonstrate their poise and creativity. They clearly have the skills to be successful in today's job market, and I look forward to seeing their presentations at the national finals."
"Participants are gaining valuable experience by diving into real issues, outside the classroom," added Amy Thompson, US Campus Recruiting Leader at PwC. "They are making decisions and collaborating to solve complex challenges - in much the same way that our professionals work with each other and with our clients every day."
xTREME is part of PwC's larger commitment to corporate responsibility and youth education. Since 2008, PwC has supported colleges and universities - and the students they educate - with more than $30 million in funding. The funds have been used for xTREME and a variety of other curriculum enrichment initiatives, such as the incorporation of IFRS into curriculum and faculty learning programs. For example, PwC recently committed $500,000 over five years to Michigan State University to enable more personalized instruction in introductory accounting classes.
Beyond financial support, PwC provides resources to help college students launch and develop their careers. For example, the firm recently helped launch "Career Explorer," a tool enabling students to chart potential career paths and build a professional network. PwC also created Personal Brand Week to help students articulate their unique qualities and stand out in the job market.
For more information about the xTREME Games, visit www.pwc.com/xtreme.
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© 2011 PwC. All rights reserved. "PwC" and "PwC US" refer to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership, which is a member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, each member firm of which is a separate legal entity.