Rubber Hits the Road for BYU Accounting Students



Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. Roughly 250 Marriott School accounting students are about to participate in the campus’ first Pit Crew Challenge, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The team-building event will take place Thursday and Friday in the Marriott Center parking lot, and Saturday in the Wilkinson Student Center parking lot south of the law school.

The challenge divides the students into seven-member pit crews. After brief instructions about their responsibilities, it’s time for a pit stop.

“This is not about the racecar,” says Bob Parker, facilitator of The Pit Crew Challenge. “This is about working together as a team.”

Parker has spent 17 years training top company executives, and began using the pit crew analogy four years ago to illustrate the importance of teamwork and depending on others.

Marriott School Associate Professor Scott Hobson, who attended Parker’s challenge last June in New Jersey, says, working in teams to change tires is more difficult than it seems. It took some teams 10 or 11 times longer than professional pit crews.

“It is total chaos during your first attempt,” Hobson explains. “There’s a noisy car, and everyone is yelling at each other.”

Because disarray can occur in study groups at the Marriott School, Hobson says the challenge is an exercise that teaches group leadership dynamics. He hopes the students apply what they learn as a pit crew to work effectively and accomplish objectives as teams this year at BYU.

School of Accountancy Director Kevin Stocks says, though not many accounting students are likely to be on professional pit crews, the experience will teach them how to form a group, become cohesive and get projects done.

“This will be the first time we have done this for a group of accounting students,” Parker says. “It could be rather interesting.

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems, organizational behavior and entrepreneurship. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

Media Contact: Joseph Ogden (801) 422-8938 or 787-9989
Writer: Don Osmond (801) 422-1512