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ISU College of Business team brings back four trophies from the International Strategy Competition

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Two teams from Idaho State University’s Business College have brought back a total of four trophies from this year’s International University Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC) hosted by California State University Long Beach.

As part of the contest, the students worked as an executive team responsible for running a simulated company based on a fictitious product. The team competed with the North American and European teams by developing strategic business plans and annual reports, and making five-year (20-quarter) computer-simulated decisions over a 12-week period. The contest culminated in a 72-hour intensive decision and a presentation to a team of corporate judges across California.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Idaho Central Credit Union (ICCU), students have had the opportunity to attend the ICBSC this year and over the last eight years. Each year, ICCU CEO Kent Olam and his leadership team give them time to listen to the team’s presentations and guide them in their area of ​​expertise.

Alex Bolinger, a team co-adviser with Dawn Konicek, a clinical associate professor of accounting in Idaho, and a professor of business administration, said: ..

The two Idaho teams competed in different departments (or “worlds”) with schools (California, Utah, England, and elsewhere) that were two to three times larger than Idaho State University. Bouje Bidots, the first team at the university, has developed its own customized luxury bidet as a product. They brought back the runner-up trophy for Best Written Documents. Bouje Bidets team members included Nikole Layton, John Lancaster, Keegan Sullivan, Emma Watts and Marcus Humphreys.

The second team, R3CYCL3D, devised a product that uses recycled materials to create 3D-printed bicycles. R3CYCL3D has won three trophies, including best overall performance, best presentation, and best document runner-up. The R3CYCL3D team consisted of Michael Pond, Jon Hurt, Jonathan Shafer, Megan Busz and Kristin Aarness.

For both teams, one of the biggest challenges was the first learning curve to use the simulation. Emma Watts, a dual major in economics and politics, said: “Each member of the team needs to read over 200 pages of player manuals to understand what decisions they make. For example, as Chief Marketing Officer, advertising, payroll and commission payments, And led quarterly decisions about the number of sales reps in each area. “

The complexity of the simulation stretched the students and had to lean on each other as a team.

“This competition has put me outside my comfort zone,” said Keegan Sullivan, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) student. “Being able to run a simulated business with team members gave us a lot closer to the real business environment.”

John Lancaster, an MBA student, adds: The goals we aimed for throughout the Games required the best of each of us and the full trust and collaboration between all of us. “

The simulation gave participants the opportunity to gain a collaborative, integrated understanding of how a good business can thrive.

“The team is better than the sum of that part,” said Michael Pond, who holds an MBA with an emphasis on cybersecurity / information assurance within the university’s NIATEC program. “When we worked together as a team, we were able to accomplish far more than we could ever do alone.”

MBA student Megan Busz added, “I learned that business isn’t just about studying groups of different subjects, it’s about combining all your knowledge into a masterpiece.”

The competition and support that students have received from faculty and staff and the ICCU executive team has given participants confidence in their ability to lead future organizations.

“I especially found that the feedback I received from the ICCU team and business college faculty during the hands-on presentation was paramount to the success of our team,” said Jon Hurt, Master of Accountancy and MBA student. Says.

Jonathan Schaefer, an MBA student, said: He was the ultimate experience of running a business without spending his own money. “

Idaho State University is the only school in Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming that offers students the opportunity to attend the ICBSC.

“I am very grateful to ICCU for facilitating this opportunity,” says Bolinger. “In this contest, students can see for themselves that they can compete with anyone in the world. It only reinforces what we always tell our students. Get an education from Idaho State University Business College. You can go anywhere. “