A team of six California State University, Fresno MBA students won in three categories at the 44th annual International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition, April 17-19 in San Diego. The competition tests students’ abilities to manage a simulated company against other collegiate teams.
On the Fresno State team were Ryan Finfrock, Kyle Goodman and Nevin Hindiyeh, all of Clovis; Alyson Udell of Paso Robles; Clint Stitser of Reno, Nev.; and Kirsten Years of Fresno. Their advisers were lecturer Charlene Coe of the Department of Management and Dr. Manuchehr Shahrokhi, the Craig Fellow Professor of Global Business-Finance.
The Craig School of Business team won first place in Stock Market Investment, Overall Performance of the Company and Report Writing categories, defeating teams from California State University, Long Beach, Mount Vernon Nazarene University of Ohio, and Willamette University of Oregon. The competition also included teams from Canada, Europe and the United Arab Emirates.
“The most valuable thing about this competition is the reality of how it works,” Finfrock said. “Each competing university was a business within an industry and decisions made the industry react like real businesses would. When we would increase advertising higher than other businesses, we might see our market share go up and theirs go down. Or when we would terminate an employee to cut costs, our other employees may become more fearful of their job security and possibly resign. This real-life interaction between decision making and accurate, realistic results was what was most educational.”
The competition “enabled our team of MBA students to utilize the knowledge gained through the Craig School of Business MBA program and directly apply it to real-world scenarios,” Hindiyeh said.
Added Years, “Teamwork was the key element to our success. Each of us brought a different skill set and perspective that together made for a winning competition. I learned just how well a disparate group of individuals can come together for a common purpose.”
The competition starts in February each year and lasts about 10 weeks, conducted online as teams prepare a comprehensive strategic business plan.
“The competition provides an excellent opportunity for the team to work closely around the clock, fiercely debate issues, disagree, build consensus make decisions and wait for the result of such decisions” Shahrokhi said. “It is so sweet to see their faces when the decisions they made turn out to be the right ones.”