For five York College students, a classroom assignment has become an opportunity to earn an international reputation and scholarship dollars for grad school.
The assignment is a semester long competition, better known as the Business Strategy Game, or BSG, in which a team of business majors operate a virtual company that is selling athletic footwear. Each week of the semester represents a year for the business.
York College seniors Kris Olson, Matt Cimmino, Kenzie Witt, Reid Vanwesten, and Corbin Brown have spent the semester playing the educational game. Their scenario outcomes are compared to teams from 2,486 schools in 49 countries.
At one point in the semester, the York College team was tied for third place in the global rankings. For a number of weeks, their performance ranked them in the top 100.
The semester is over, but the game continues: the team’s week-after-week success has earned them the right to compete in the Best Strategy Invitational, where the top teams from the semester go head-to-head for four additional weeks. The winners of the invitational will receive scholarships for graduate school.
Participating in BSG is part of the York College business degree capstone course, an accumulation of all of their coursework over the past four years.
BSG was developed by a group of professors to bring together all the concepts that should be encountered in a business-based degree. Participants develop and operate a business from the ground up. This requires the group to experience corporate responsibility issues, labor concerns, production and operations, cash flows, finance, and marketing.
It is an experience that is used by colleges worldwide. It requires students to make weekly decisions that affect their virtual company, based on realistic change in demand but varying exchange rates as well.
It’s a great exercise says Kris Olson, president of the York College team. "This helps me to see the whole process from top to bottom and gives me practice and experience I can use towards my own business.”
This is a perfect conclusion to his education, says Olson who plans to start a consulting firm.
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