UHV Global MBA team challenges over 2,000 in online business simulation game, places seventh in first attempt
Using strategies developed while earning the University of Houston-Victoria’s Global MBA, two UHV graduate students placed seventh for their return on equity in the final week of the semester-long Business Strategy Game (BSG). Two thousand eighteen teams, representing 162 institutions worldwide, participated in the competition.
The UHV students achieved this ranking during the university’s first semester to compete in the simulation game.
Each week, the teams were rated based on earnings per share, stock price appreciation, credit rating and return on equity.
The students were honored Saturday during the MBA Conference held at the University of Houston at Cinco Ranch for their outstanding performance in the BSG.
Nagarajan Ravishankar, a student in UHV’s Strategic MBA program, and Ayowale B. Ogunye, an alumnus of UHV’s Strategic MBA program, were on the UHV team that placed seventh. The team’s return on equity was 45.9 percent.
Jifu Wang, a UHV School of Business Administration professor, explained how his strategic management course helps students compete in the simulation game and in true-life business settings.
“Since the classes themselves are a form of organization, I try to explicitly run them in a way that reflects a mini-strategic model,” Wang said. “Exams were replaced with business simulations that focus on the students’ integrative application capability with the help of business cases.
“Eighty-five percent of the students’ grades comes from their ability to apply the concepts and skills in the business simulation,” Wang added.
The Business Strategy Game is an online exercise in which class members are divided into teams and assigned the task of running an athletic footwear company in head-to-head competition against companies managed by other student teams. Company operations in the simulation game parallel those of actual athletic footwear companies.
As in the real world, the BGS virtual companies compete in a global market arena, selling branded and private-label athletic footwear in four geographic regions: Europe-Africa, North America, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
The teams are challenged to craft and execute a competitive strategy that results in a respected brand image, keeps the virtual company in contention for global market leadership, and produces good financial performance.
The game is used as an instructional and assessment tool by 415 institutions worldwide; UHV is one of 24 Texas schools included in the list.
Ravishankar found the competition exciting. “During the second week of the game, I started working on how to position myself in the top-100 list,” he said. “The best part of the experience was at 12:20 a.m. every Monday morning” when updates were posted.
“I was always thrilled to check my results for the previous week” Ravishankar added.
Ogunye described the simulation as “stimulating, exciting and comprehensive,” adding that it required him to call on all of the skills he acquired throughout the MBA program. “It was game theory in action,” he said. “One was always apprehensive of the moves and counter-moves of the rival teams, and constantly hoped to come out ahead.”
Wang anticipates that UHV will be represented in the simulation by at least 10 teams per year.
Charles Bullock, dean of business administration at UHV, was ecstatic about the achievement.
“For our students to have performed this well in a global competition speaks volumes about the quality of both the students themselves and the instruction they’ve received,” Bullock said. “Students and faculty should be very proud of this achievement, which brings us one step closer to fulfilling our vision of global leadership in quality, innovative, adaptive and technology-driven programs.”
Last week, the students placed 16th with a return on equity of 39.6 percent.
All four UHV teams met at the University of Houston System at Cinco Ranch on Saturday to share their experiences with the simulation.