By SMU School of Accountancy Social Media Team
SoA Outreach, a student club under the SMU School of Accountancy, comprises a core pool of SoA students who support the school in reaching out to prospective students and various external stakeholders. The club emphasizes the importance of connecting with former juniors from their members’ alma mater via a series of outreach events which they organise every year.
With the onset of Covid-19 and resultant restrictions, SOA Outreach continued to press on with their efforts to engage students from Junior Colleges and Polytechnics and moved their events online. We caught up with SOA Outreach to find out how they adapted their recent Accounting Challenge 2021* and Accounting Stimulus 2021** events to run virtually.
* SMU Accounting Challenge (ACE) is a yearly competition which allows participants to test their accounting knowledge while facilitating a platform for them to learn more about SMU Accountancy and get a feel of the accounting content covered in universities.
**Accounting Stimulus is an annual competition that provides prospective students with the opportunity to find out more about SMU Accountancy through a series of accounting-related games such as an adapted version of monopoly tackling different aspects of accountancy.
With the suspension of any face-to-face events due to Covid-19, SOA Outreach continued to organise activities such ACE 2021 and Accounting Stimulus for students from JCs, Polytechnics and IB. How did Outreach circumvent this problem?
Like all clubs and CBDs in SMU, events organised by SoA Outreach have been adversely affected by COVID. Compared to the initial onset of the pandemic, we were more prepared this year as we anticipated the pandemic to last for a prolonged period, enabling us to respond accordingly to the situation!
Participant interaction and engagement posed the biggest challenges for us when we moved our events online. To tackle this problem, we used multiple online platforms such as Kahoot and Zoom to engage our participants. We kept group sizes small to ensure maximum engagement. Ultimately, we were glad to see our participants actively participating in ACE and Accounting Stimulus.
Participants at ACE Challenge had a Q&A session with Accountancy professors as well
SOA Outreach arranged for goodie bags to be sent to the homes of the participants of both events. What were the challenges you faced in adopting this approach and how did the recipients react?
The main challenge we faced was to source for a suitable and reliable delivery partner who was able to accommodate our logistical needs arising from the overwhelming response for both events. Thankfully, our delivery partner, NinjaVan, was more than up to the task. With their help, the distribution of the goodie bags turned out to be a smooth process that was completed well within the expected time frame.
We believe most of the participants were not expecting souvenirs to be given out since the events were virtual, let alone having them delivered right to their doorstep. Subsequently, some of the participants shared with us that they were pleasantly surprised to receive the goodie bags, and that it was an additional bonus to their already fruitful experiences from ACE and Stimulus.
Monopoly with an accounting twist!
In view of the latest restrictions, how will Outreach adapt your programme for the upcoming Mind The GAAP event?
From running ACE and Stimulus virtually, we now have a better understanding of how to maximise engagement even in a virtual event. The goal of Mind The GAAP is to impart new knowledge to our participants who are interested to learn more about accounting.
In partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Mind the GAAP 2021 will host a series of accounting based games, a chance for participants to rack their brains in a business case challenge, and an opportunity to learn more about SMU Accountancy.
Keep a look out for Mind the GAAP 2021, taking place from 12 to 13 June!