A team of six Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Accounting students at Idaho State University’s College of Business will be traveling to Anaheim, Calif. this week to compete in the 53rd Annual International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition.
The competition, which is sponsored by California State University at Long Beach, includes student teams from schools throughout the United States and as far away as China.
The competition began in late January, with teams creating a product, writing a business plan for their company, and then running the company in a computerized simulation by making strategic “quarterly” decisions each week about marketing, production, financing, research and development, and human resources.
At the conclusion of the first 12 quarterly decisions, teams create an annual report and travel to Anaheim for an intensive 48 hours in which they make their final eight quarters of decisions and make a presentation to judges drawn from companies throughout Southern California and the western United States. Teams are judged on quantitative metrics (e.g., return on investment, debt-to-equity ratio, stock price) but also based on their decision-making process, the quality of their teamwork, and the quality of their written documents.
“This competition is a remarkable learning experience for students who want to challenge themselves,” said Alex Bolinger, associate professor of management at ISU’s College of Business and a co-advisor of ISU’s team. “I tell students that it is about as close as they can come to learning how to run a start-up without risking their own money.”
ISU’s participation in the ICBSC is sponsored by contribution by Idaho Central Credit Union. ICCU’s executive team came to campus to provide their feedback on the team’s practice presentation before leaving for California.
“ICCU has been behind this program from day one,” said Bolinger. “We are incredibly grateful for their support – not just financially, but also the time their top managers donate to help prepare our team.”
The ICBSC represents one of the unique, “signature experience” opportunities that ISU offers its graduate business students. ISU is the only university from Idaho, Utah, Montana or Wyoming to offer the opportunity to participate in this competition to its students.