Students taking part in the Bath College Business and Accounting Challenge were given just two hours to respond to a real-life scenario.
Thirty students worked in teams to meet the tight deadline and produce a presentation for a panel of financial experts.
The challenge, sponsored by Mogers Drewett, began with a case study from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
Students were given three real-life business proposals and asked to assess them before recommending the best option to the panel.
The panel included Sean McDonough, from Mogers Drewett, Julian Newton and Chris Hanney, from Barclays, and Ian Sheppard, from Curo.
Teams were supported by student mentors, who took part in the regional heats for the ICAEW BASE competition last year.
Competition winners Daniel Meleady, Ben Flint, Joseph Davies, James Perkins and Katie Harrison
The academy was set up in September to create employment opportunities for students and create a talent pipeline for companies to recruit from.
Ian Sheppard, Head of Financial Services at Curo, said: “I thought the standard of presentations was excellent. They only had a short space of time and every single one of them did a good job.
“These are the sort of things that should happen regularly in colleges because it’s good experience for people to meet employers.
“We want Curo to be known as someone who wants to recruit the best talent in Bath and further afield, and this gives us a platform to meet people.”
Second year student Dan Meleady is studying level 3 business with accounting and was part of the winning team.
He said: “I enjoyed the opportunity to work in a team and on a real-life case. It was quite competitive and it was definitely a surprise to win.
“We watched the other teams and they did brilliantly, we didn’t really want to follow the group that went first! This has given me a good idea of what it would be like to work in the accountancy business.”