Business Students Win Awards at Strategy Competition

In second year competing, teams win first and second place trophies in the best overall performance and best documents categories

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — Two University of California, Riverside teams composed of MBA students won high honors at the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC), held April 19 to 21.

The teams won first and second place trophies in the best overall performance and best documents categories. This is the 49th year the ICBSC has been held, and this is only the second time UC Riverside has competed.

Business students standing and holding award.

Award-winning School of Business Administration students.

The UC Riverside competitors included:  Chein-Po Liao, Chiu-Ju Hou, Hsiao-Yun Lee, Lina Xu, Tommy Ngo, Steven Jew, Zhaohong Dai, Charlotte Deshayes, Yilian Hu, Mashud Qayum, Ryan Rakib, and Wei Zhou.

“We are grateful to our professors as all the classes, group projects, case analysis have prepared us with the necessary tools we used through the duration of the competition,” said Rakib, the team CEO. “We strongly believe that our dedication and hard work will inspire the next year’s teams to take this success to the next great level.”

This year, ICBSC simulation software program was incorporated into a UC Riverside MBA capstone strategy course. The UCR teams studied the simulated global competitive environment and inputted decisions in weekly cycles–each week representing a quarter of a year. A sample of the decisions included investment in research and development, advertising and promotion expenses, employee compensation, production capacity, product pricing, financing new plant production, satisfying shareholders through dividend payouts and stock repurchasing and taking emergency financing loans.

Each team consisted of a CEO and vice presidents of major functional divisions. Between the weekly decision deadlines, teams worked with their faculty advisors, Roger Conway and Sean Jasso, and learned the challenges and opportunities of time management and team work while working under pressure to run sophisticated forecasts, manage the firm’s financial statements, and respond to unexpected changes in the economy and even the unexpected tsunami.

Twenty-seven teams from around the world competed at the event, held in Anaheim. Hotel suites served as team headquarters where weekly decisions became hourly decisions, ultimately running the company for seven years. Students prepared sophisticated business plans and held board of directors meetings before a panel of industry executives from around the country, who served as judges.

“We are proud of our MBA competitors this year,” Jasso said. “We look forward to competing in the 50th anniversary ICBSC in April 2014.”

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