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Sac State MBA team wins international competition


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Top: The winning MBA team of Mark Fultz (left), Jason Vu, Hao Dang, Brandon Tong, Nowar Kayali, Eugene Olson, with Interim Associate Dean Seung Bach (right).
Above: The first-runner-up undergrad team (back row from left) Max Sinitsa, Julie Francesconi and Andrew Cross; and (front row from left) Kelly Schofield, Nancy Chan and Tad Ochwat. (Photo by Bonnie Burnell)

The MBA team from Sacramento State’s College of Business Administration ( competed with 32 other teams from four nations to win the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition at CSU Long Beach.

Held April 25-27, the matchup is a business simulation program in which each team must come up with a business strategy requiring key decisions in areas such as production, prices, product development and human resources.

Sacramento State’s undergrad team also found success, earning first runner-up for overall performance.

The teams hail from the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Canada. Sacramento State’s MBA team consisted of Hao Dang, Nowar Kayali, Jason Vu, Mike Fultz, Eugene Olson and Brandon Tong. They not only took first in overall performance but also earned first runner-up for best documentation.

“Our success was predicated on each individual contributing their thoughts and ideas to form a collaborative team,” says Dang. “Being comfortable with one another allowed us to debate our views and form the best possible strategy for winning.”

The competition has been around for 50 years. Sacramento State used to participate several years ago but then stopped. It resumed participation in 2011, according to the team’s advisor, Seung Bach, interim associate dean of the College of Business Administration.

This is the first time the MBA team has taken the top spot. “Their success was brought about by their hard work – holding a series of brainstorming sessions and discussions – and, most of all, the solid MBA education we provide here at Sac State,” Bach says.

The undergrad team consisted of Andrew Cross, Max Sinitsa, Nancy Chan, Julie Francesconi, Tad Ochwat and Kelly Schofield. In addition to overall runner-up, they placed first for their business plan and annual report.

“Successful collaboration and great communication allowed all of us to combine our individual strengths into a team that functioned stronger overall,” Sinitsa says. “Lots of coffee helped, too.”

Chan perhaps summed it up for all of Sac State’s participants: “The support we got from Dr. Jai Joon “Jay” Lee, Dr. Bach, Dr. Varshney, Angela Girouard, Bonnie Burnell and the entire CBA was essential to our success. We wouldn’t have been able to participate and do as well as we did without them.”

For more information on Sacramento State’s College of Business Administration, visit the college’s website. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs Office at (916) 278-6156. – Craig Koscho