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SDSU Scores TWO Victories in Student Competition  

A team of five SDSU undergraduate students from the Business Honors Program were awarded two trophies for best overall performance and best business documents in the 54th Annual International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC). A total of 24 teams from 15 universities from the U.S., Canada China were among this year’s competitors.

Here’s How It Worked

The case study centered on a simulation where students ran a virtual company over a period of five years. During that time they reviewed their virtual company’s financial and operating reports to make marketing, operating and financial decisions for both domestic and foreign operations.

The SDSU team, consisting of Phu Vu (finance), Alexander Rivera (finance), Miranda Steidler (marketing), Bradley Keller (marketing) and John Pentony (financial services), was judged on overall performance for their business plan and financial results against six competing teams at the event.

Students with ICBSC trophies

From left: Alexander Rivera, Miranda Steidler, Bradley Keller and Phu Va. Front: John Pentony

The competition involved a remote phase of 10 weeks and then a second, on-site phase which was held in Anaheim, California on April 26-28, 2018. During the remote phase students submitted a strategic business plan and ran their companies for three simulated years (12 fiscal quarters). Upon arriving in Anaheim for the intensive on-site phase, the teams submitted an annual report of their most recent year of operations to the judges.

Over the next two days, they completed two more years (eight quarters) of decisions and met with the judges twice with the final meeting being a formal presentation. The judges played the role of the simulated company's board of directors and queried the students about their company decisions and results. 

More Than Trophies

The ICBSC wasn’t just an academic competition for the students: it also offered them a glimpse of how executives work within a competitive environment. “The competition was dynamic, challenging and provided me with an invaluable skill set that I will be able to utilize in my professional career,” said Steidler. 

Rivera echoed Steidler’s sentiment. “[The competition] allowed me to understand how intertwined departments within a company are and the affect they have on each other,” said Rivera. “We learned how businesses succeed based on the knowledge of their employees and the importance of the team communication dynamic.”

Other students felt the stronger lesson lay in good teamwork. “The lesson I took away from this competition is the importance of having a diverse team that works well together,” said Vu. “I am grateful to have worked with such bright and talented individuals.” Pentony agreed. “From this opportunity, I learned long-term success results from a diverse team united behind a commitment to collective growth, community goals, and a supportive, respectful environment – all of which we were able to achieve.”

The team's faculty advisor and director of the SDSU Business Honors Program is management information systems lecturer, Dr. Robert Judge.