Simulation offers taste of the real world—and success.

Students in Strategic Management in the Multinational Corporation, taught by Randall Martin (BA ’76), a member of the Department of Management and International Business, achieved repeated successes during the fall semester in the Business Strategy Game, used by 2,000 teams at 161 universities around the world. Players take a global athletic shoe company through five years of its business cyle, making all management decisions—with lots of surprises thrown in by the instructor and the game’s creators to mimic the challenges such enterprises actually face.

George Kozarov

The course is one of many that builds the college’s students’ expertise in international business.

Martin’s students have excelled during the eight or nine years he’s used the game. This time, however, the traditional classroom group of 45 and the fully online contingent of 63 achieved exceptional results:

  • On the November 29, 2007, report, seven teams ranked in the overall score, including one tied for the second-highest score, and five placed tops in the ROE category.
  • On December 4, 2007, seven teams made it into the top 100 and the eighth-place team was only one point—out of 110—below the leader.
  • On December 10, 2007, nine teams landed in the overall score category’s top 100, along with many other new awards, including three in the highest stock price category.

“Winners split about evenly between the two groups,” said Martin, the first faculty member to build a course around the simulation.

Game provides both review and grounding for the future.

“We opted for a high-end strategy, focused on high prices and high quality,” said Egle Petrauskaite, a senior international business major, who wants to land a position in a large corporation. “The game was very exciting, gave me a real life view, and showed me how to manage rather than simply work for someone.”

For her teammate, George Kozarov (BBA ’07), the course “gave us opportunities to practice concepts we’d learned in many other business courses and to solidify our knowledge.”

Egle Petrauskaite and George Kozarov

Currently a team leader at a large retail store and thinking about a finance career and graduate school, Kozarov “sees the course’s concepts in my current job and I know I will see it in others.”

Acknowledging that the game requires a great deal of hard work, Martin said that once the students learn it, the time commitment diminishes because “it’s like rebuilding an old car for the first time. Initially, you know little and move slowly. Then you begin to see how all the parts fit together and can move faster.”

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