Posted: April 24, 2000
A team of undergraduate students from the College of Business Administration earned an honorable mention at the International Collegiate Business Policy Competition in San Diego over spring break.
The 36th annual "Intercollegiate Business Games" included 23 undergraduate and 15 graduate programs from the United States, Canada, Mexico and The Netherlands. CSUS also entered a graduate team in the competition.
"The competition offers an opportunity for students to experience the totality of running a business," said CSUS marketing professor Art Jensen, graduate team adviser and himself a 1968 participant. "Classroom material generally focuses on a piece of the action, but the competition forces the student to integrate all of the pieces and make them work."
Joe Kilpatrick, undergraduate team adviser and fellow marketing professor, agrees. "The competition gives the students a realistic look into a competitive environment. And it gives me a chance to observe them solving a variety of problems in a competitive and stressful situation," he says.
The competition gave team participants "hands-on" experience running their own companies. Each team had to come up with a low-cost durable good and then create a company to sell it. They used a computerized simulation, which allowed them to integrate and apply business operation theories from classes.
"This competition has helped me in my accounting classes immensely," said undergraduate team participant Tina Buell. "I now take the conceptual ideas taught from my school books and apply it to a real situation. My lesson plans make more sense and they are easier to remember."
The games began with the companies being assigned to "worlds." Five or six companies per world competed against each over five years of simulated time. The early phase lasted 10 weeks, and during this period students made company decisions on their home campuses.
"I think this game is a unique opportunity that truly tests one's skills, motivations, commitment and tenacity in a realistic business setting," said Johnna Goeke of the undergraduate team.
"It is a very challenging competition and asks a lot of the group members in making unified decisions," adds graduate team participant Jeff Hotchkiss. "It is a competition, so it brings out that winning spirit that is essential for success in any endeavor."
The final phase was the three-day conference in San Diego, where students completed their five-year run of company decision making, presented their company to a panel of judges and submitted "annual reports."
The winners were decided by the teams' numerical performance, business plans and annual reports. Although neither of the CSUS teams brought home a trophy, the undergraduate team was recognized for having the finest business plan in their world.
Members of the undergraduate team's company, called Tijago, Int'l, were Goeke, Buell and Jason Hill. The graduate team's company, CoolTech.com., featured Hotchkiss, Vicki Au-Young, Joe St. Angelo, Manish Samadarshi Prasad and Matt Watanabe.
"This game means a lot to me," Buell said. "It means that I paid more attention to my classes, homework, and to my long-term goals than I did to my social life, my job, or my desire to go to the mall."
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