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Idaho Central Credit Union to sponsor ISU International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition team for the next three years

October 4, 2016

Students at Idaho State University’s College of Business will be able to compete in the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition for the next three years, thanks to a generous donation from Idaho Central Credit Union.

The donation will help students in the ISU Master of Business Administration and Master of Accountancy programs.

ICCU, headquartered in Chubbuck, has agreed to serve as the title sponsor, providing $8,000 per year for the next three years. This contribution will cover the costs of registering for the program as well as lodging and student transportation to California. International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC) is a yearly competition hosted by Long Beach State University that features undergraduate and graduate student teams from four continents.

“Idaho Central Credit Union has been a tremendous supporter of this program from year one,” said Alex Bolinger, associate professor of management and ICBSC team co-advisor. “They are great supporters of ISU and our community and it is a privilege to be able to partner with them to continue to facilitate the incredible learning opportunity for our students that the International College Business Strategy Competition represents.”

The ICBSC, now in its 52nd year, is among the most intense and comprehensive strategy competitions in existence. During the competition, which runs from January to April, teams of students from various schools compete in a computerized simulation in which they make strategic decisions that require integration of sales forecasting, production and operations, financing, marketing and human resource functions. Team members take on executive roles (e.g., Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer) and participate in the competition as though they were running a business.

“The ICBSC is an unparalleled educational experience. I tell students that it is about as close as they can come to running their own business without risking their own money,” Bolinger said. 

Beginning in January, students make weekly decisions representing three years, 12 quarters, from their home campus. They also develop an idea for a potential product and write a complete business plan and annual report. In mid-April, the teams travel from around the world to Anaheim, California where they make the final two years (eight quarters) of decisions, one decision every two hours, over an intense 48-hour period. Student teams must also defend their decisions and written documents in front of their “board of directors,” which consists of executive-level managers from corporations in southern California and throughout the western United States. The competition concludes with a formal banquet and awards ceremony.

ISU’s College of Business had not participated in the ICBSC for nearly 15 years until Bolinger, Dawn Konicek, assistant professor of accounting, and Heidi Wadsworth, director of graduate studies, resurrected the program in 2015. In their two years of competition since the program was restored, ISU’s student teams have bested their international competition, winning Best Written Documents for the quality of their business plans and annual reports and, in 2015, Overall Champion.

“The competition was about as real world as school can get,” said Jennifer Donaldson, an MBA student and member of last year’s team. “It was the ultimate group project, and I'm so happy I had the chance to experience it.”

ICCU’s executive team have served for the past two years as proxy judges during a practice presentation the day before ISU’s student team left for California to face the competition judges.

“I am really grateful to CEO Kent Oram and his executive team for their willingness to give their time to encourage our students and help them prepare for California,” said Bolinger. “Their support has been an enormous confidence boost for our students, because it sends the message that ICCU believes that ISU’s best and brightest can compete with anyone in the world. And they are right.

Idaho Central was organized as a state chartered credit union in 1940. The credit union’s administrative office is located in Chubbuck, Idaho. Idaho Central has over 700 employees serving more than 240,000 members with 29 locations throughout the state and over $2.6 billion in assets. Idaho Central is a full-service, federally-insured financial institution.



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