UHV students win top rankings in global business competition

Students in University of Houston-Victoria’s Global Master of Business Administration program recently showed the world they have the knowledge, skills and mental might to excel in the global marketplace.

A team of four UHV students won several top-100 rankings this fall during their participation in the eight-week online Global Business Simulation competition. They competed with about 3,000 student teams from universities and colleges around the world by making business decisions for their simulated drone and digital camera companies.

Salah Ahmad

“On this particular team, all of us were very driven,” said Salah Ahmad, a UHV student from Austin. “We were spending almost six to seven hours a week just on this project.”

Also on this team, called Team G, were Peter Arness of Friendswood; Martin Kangethe of Houston; and Riley Scott of Burnet. The team called their company “G-Tech Imaging” for the simulation.

“The team members came from different angles and points of view, so we had drive and creativity, and we were able to find that harmony and synergy between all the different team members,” Ahmad said.

Students in the Global MBA program have competed in the GLO-BUS simulation competition for eight years as part of their “International Business Strategy” capstone course. During the competition, teams are ranked weekly based on criteria that included overall score, earnings per share, return on average equity and stock price.

Jifu Wang

 Team G ranked in the top 100 for four separate weeks during the eight-week competition, which coincided with their eight-week capstone course.

“They have to draw from all their different courses in the Global MBA program to excel in this competition, so their success reflects not just this capstone course but their whole MBA program,” said Jifu Wang, associate dean of international initiatives for the UHV School of Business Administration and chair of the department of management, strategy and entrepreneurship. “The awards truly reflect the quality and caliber in experiential learning that UHV Provost Chance Glenn and the School of Business Administration’s dean Ken Colwell have been implementing.”

Team G made the top 100 in three categories: Stock Price, Return on Average Equity, and Overall Game-To-Date Score. This is the first year for a UHV team to rank in the top 100 in three different categories of the competition. Other UHV graduate business student teams ranked highly in the competition as well.

It is very unusual for a single team to win that many top-100 rankings, Wang said.

“They cooperated well with each other, and they understood the situation in the marketplace and how to deal with it,” he said. “Their sharp minds enabled them to see where to invest and how to manage operations.”

The teams made more than 40 decisions per week, such as what kinds of cameras and drones their company will manufacture, what level of quality their products will have, how to produce those products, and how much they can afford to pay manufacturers.

Peter Arness

“The simulation was realistic in that it consisted of all the different components you would manage as the CEO of a company,” Arness said. “A benefit of the simulation was the ability to see the results of your team’s decisions compared to the other teams’ each week.”

The competition gives students an eight-week opportunity to apply the knowledge they learn in the classroom, practice making business decisions, and hone their skills, Wang said.

“Those are skills that business requires,” Wang said. “Once these students graduate, they will face similar situations and decisions in the business world.”

Ahmad appreciated the practicality of what the experience taught participants.

“Really, it’s how to develop and run a team, which is probably the most important thing in the world right now,” he said. “We also learned intangible things that can’t be quantified, like leadership, team building and driving everyone toward a goal.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.