UHV graduate student team takes second place in business simulation
When Oscar Voigt’s team for the University of Houston-Victoria Global Master of Business Administration capstone course was developing a strategy for the Business Strategy Game competition, the members decided to take an all-or-nothing approach.
“We knew most of the other teams would be making conservative, safe decisions,” Voigt said. “We threw ourselves into it, and we ended up being the standout company for our particular product.”
Voigt of Richmond, Forrest Harris of Missouri City, Caroline Maranga of Houston and Chung Wong of Rosenberg competed as ForeSight, a wearable camera company. During the competition, the team was ranked 22nd during April 10-16, the 10th week, and second during April 24-30, the 12th and final week in the return on average equity category. Each week of the simulation is considered a fiscal year.
During the 10th week, the simulation included 2,095 teams from 121 colleges or universities worldwide. In the 12th week, there were 1,544 teams from 79 institutions. Teams are ranked in three categories: earnings per share, return on average equity and stock price. There also is an overall ranking that takes all three elements into account.
The Business Strategy Game is an international competition that pits management teams of three to four students against others in a simulation of the global market. Teams play the part of wearable camera companies competing against each other. The simulation is intended to help students understand the global marketplace.
“Earning a spot in the top 25 for two weeks of the Business Strategy Game is an impressive accomplishment,” said Farhang Niroomand, dean of the UHV School of Business Administration. “We hold our students to a high standard, and that commitment to excellence is clearly evident in the results of this simulation. I am proud of our students.”
Although the simulation ended on a high note, there were some bumps and learning experiences along the way, Voigt said.
“We actually almost failed during Week 11 because we ended the year with negative equity,” he said. “We’d been buying back our own stock at the end of every year, and we learned the hard way that if the price is too high, you shouldn’t make that purchase. But we came back from that to have another awesome week.”
Part of the team’s strategy for success was early investments in upgrades, and research and development, Voigt said. Those early investments gave the team a leg up on the competition and let it produce unique, quality cameras at inexpensive prices.
“It was a great simulation,” he said. “It was, by far, my favorite part of my MBA classes. It pushed us to look back at what we had learned in previous courses and apply that information in a competition setting. We learned that reaching success is a collaborative effort that relies on each member of the team doing his or her part.”
That lesson is something that every student in the UHV School of Business Administration is encouraged to learn, said Jifu Wang, the professor of the capstone course and associate dean of the UHV School of Business Administration.
“Our primary goal is to train capable, knowledgeable professionals,” Wang said. “Our students need to understand the knowledge they are given and be able to apply it to real-world situations. This simulation tested that, and this ranking speaks to the caliber of students we have at UHV.”