Scholars team takes top prizes at prestigious international business simulation competition

Business Scholars team takes top prizes at prestigious international business simulation competition
Business Scholars take top honors at ICBSC
Scholars Jon Kashat, Phillip Johnson, Laura Tack, Jonathan Strong, David Sullivan, Leah Slazinski, with advisor Joi Jiang win first place in two categories.

A team of six Business Scholars won first place for Best Overall Performance and first place for Best Documents at the 51st International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition at California State University in Anaheim.

 

The students, Accounting senior Laura Tack; Finance junior Jon Kashat; Accounting junior Jonathan Strong; Accounting senior David Sullivan; Finance senior Phillip Johnson; and Finance senior Leah Slazinski, along with faculty advisor Joy Jiang, took high honors in the intense two-part competition.

 

This is the first time OU participated in this prestigious competition where student teams, in simulated real-world competition, take over management of a virtual company making 20 rounds of quarterly strategic and operational decisions. This year, 36 teams representing 27 universities from around the world competed. 

 

OU’s Scholars outperformed its competitors on all financial and strategic measures to claim the first place in overall performance.  One judge observed the team’s written materials were, " terse, direct, and right to the point.” The judges were also impressed by how the team executed the strategy with discipline as well as flexibility.

“I am so proud of them. They did miraculously well as a team that had never done a simulation,” says Jiang. “Most of the other schools have been participating for years. The (competition) chair specifically pointed out that we were a new team and we won both categories.”

 

In their case, the Scholars were simulating a company that manufactured durable goods.  “We had to contend with other companies, as well as external factors like a strike that decreased our production capacity for several quarters,” explains Sullivan.

 

Each team is responsible for a strategic business plan, an annual report and one formal oral presentation to judges, who serve as the simulated Board of Directors. After completing 12 rounds of quarterly decisions from February to April, the Scholars team went to Anaheim, California, for the final intensive on-site phase to make the last 8 quarterly decisions. The students run the companies over a five-year period, competing directly against four or five other firms run by competitor teams in its simulated world. 

 

“Taking on roles beyond their major really enforces understanding across disciplines,” says Judy Martin, Scholars coordinator. 

 

“I am amazed at how hard they worked and how fast they developed strategic acumen and functional expertise,” says Jiang.

While other competitions involve simply writing and/or presenting a business plan for a company, the ICBSC includes the development of a strategic business plan, the execution of the plan in a simulated environment, writing an annual report and a presentation to the Board of Directors. 

Team members agree taking part in the competition is intense, exciting and rewarding, and they never learned so much in such a short period of time.

“The best part was sticking together and making cohesive decisions, even when we had to argue,” says Kashat. “Also, seeing our stock price and financial ratios almost double our competitors!”

 

“My favorite part was meeting students from other universities, talking strategy and networking,” says Johnson.

Sarah Blanchette contributed to this article 

 


 

Original article: April 17, 2015

International competition gives Scholars taste of C-suite decisions, pressure and rewards


For the first time, Oakland University business students are taking part in the world’s longest running, most comprehensive business competition, the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC). Student teams, in simulated real-world competition, take over management of a virtual company and compete for best performance. This year, 36 teams representing 27 universities from around the world are competing. 


The Oakland team is comprised of six determined Accounting and Finance undergraduates who are members of the business school’s elite Scholars group. Each assume an executive role in the simulated company: Accounting senior Laura Tack, is president; Finance junior Jon Kashat is VP of Finance; Accounting junior Jonathan Strong is VP of accounting; Accounting senior David Sullivan is VP of operations; Finance senior Phillip Johnson is VP of business development; and Finance senior Leah Slazinski is VP of marketing. 

The intense two-part, competition began with the remote phase in February and will conclude April 23-25 when all teams travel to California State University in Anaheim, where they will complete 8 more rounds of quarterly decisions, submit annual report, and make a presentation to a panel of judges – also known as the Board of Directors. 

“This competition really showed us how important each part of a company is,” Tack says. 

During the ten-week remote phase, students make up to 80 business decisions each week about their company’s marketing, finance and operations. The students run the companies over a five-year period, competing directly against four or five other firms run by competitor teams in its simulated world. 

“Taking on roles beyond their major really enforces understanding across disciplines,” says Judy Martin, Scholars coordinator. 

While other competitions involve simply writing and/or presenting a business plan for a company, the ICBSC includes the development of a strategic business plan, the execution of the plan in a simulated environment, writing an annual report and a presentation to the Board of Directors. 

“It's amazing how much time the team members spent on this and how much they have grown in understanding what it is to run a real business,” says Joy Ruihau Jiang, who is the team’s advisor as well as the faculty director for Scholars. “The best thing is watching the team work so hard and start to talk like real executives about competitive posture, product positioning, capacity planning, advertising and sales force, and capital budgeting.” 

According to the team, taking part in the competition is intense, exciting and rewarding. 

“My favorite part about competing with my fellow Scholars is being surrounded by a group of extremely gifted and talented individuals,” Johnson says. “They all motivate me to work harder and each one of them is a role model to me in their own way.” 

For more information the competition visit the ICBSC website at http://icbsc.org/