Students place second at business strategy competition

International Collegiate Business Strategy CompetitionFive Iowa State economics, ag bus, and business economics students won second place in their group on written reports at the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition in Anaheim, California on April 20-22.

The International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition is a competitive event that provides students with a learning experience in which they, in direct competition with other college teams, run a simulated company and have the opportunity to network with business executives and students from around the world.

This was the first time Iowa State has sent a team to the competition. They created a simulated headphone product called CyPhones, whose slogan is “We’ll give you an earful.”

Attending the event were (in photo, front) Dustin Gaede, Charity Elijah, Katherine Lacy, (back) Peter Orazem, Gerald Healy, Zachary Zwiefel, and Kenneth Griffin.

The competition utilizes the Business Policy Game, an international simulation, designed to enable advanced business students to integrate and apply the theories of their business courses. The students become strategic managers of simulated companies competing against other business students acting as managers of their own companies. The simulated environment incorporates the economies of two countries and requires consideration of global and domestic strategy. The competition started in January. Every week teams had to analyze data to make business decisions, then in April, they went to Anaheim, where they made seven final decisions.

Gerald Healy, Zach Zwifel, Dustin Gaede, Kenneth Griffin, Charity ElijahPresenting before the judges in the photo at right are students and their company titles: Gerald Healy, V.P., Marketing; Zachary Zwiefel, V.P., Production; Dustin Gaede, V.P., Sales; Kenneth Griffin, CEO; and Charity Elijah, Communications. (CFO Julian Duran, did not attend.)

"Overall, it was a really nice experience," said Gerald Healy, economics senior. They gave us back results on how our company did in the previous quarter, so we’d analyze the data and figure out what we’d do next. We all had equal say in the decisions, and usually we went with majority rule. I feel like I built better team-building skills. It was nice to see results of our decisions."

Peter Orazem, professor, commented on the team's performance, "We got into the competition at the invitation of John Primus, an alumnus who helps judge the competition and who visited the Economics Club in the fall. This was a very hard challenge and it required a lot of work from the students. We were at a disadvantage in being the only novice participant, and so getting a second position in the written strategic plan and annual report in our group was very gratifying."

"We would not have been successful without the fabulous assistance of (graduate student) Katherine Lacy. Katherine had the background of having participated in competitions as an undergraduate, and she really taught the team what it means to be dedicated and supportive."