CSUEB’s One-Year MBA team members from left to right: Glen Taylor (advisor), Andrew Vargas (CEO), Wenwen Jiang (CFO), Gaspar Sanchez (Controller), Charlene Cervantes (VP of Marketing), Leigh Purry (VP of Production) Denise Thao Yang (VP of Sales)
A team of six students from Cal State East Bay’s One-Year Intensive MBA Program placed first in the category of stock price performance at the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition in Anaheim, California in April. This is the second year in a row that CSUEB has achieved the award for highest stock price, which reflects the overall financial performance of all the companies competing.
“It was the ability of our students to pull together as a team in a competitive, time-pressure oriented environment and make good decisions together,” said the team’s advisor, Glen Taylor, director of CSUEB’s One-Year Intensive MBA Program. “That’s what they did, and that’s how it showed up in the end. (The award) really is 100 percent a reflection of the students in this program.”
Running since 1965, the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition is a comprehensive business competition in which students from all over the world participate. This year, CSUEB competed against 29 other teams, including teams from Canada, China, Europe and the United States.
The competition consists of two phases. The first phase began in February when each university team took over the management of a simulated manufacturing company. CSUEB’s team, known as Pi Intel or Pioneer Intellectuals during the competition, chose to produce a solar-powered battery charger for their product. However, it wasn’t so much as the product that was important as it was the decisions that each team made throughout the competition, explained Taylor. Each team was required to write a strategic business plan for their company and had to strive to outperform their competitors in key strategic, marketing and financial decisions.
“Each one of us had different roles, but in the end one factor affects the other so taking all that into consideration becomes really challenging,” said Andrew Vargas, 23, who took on the role of chief executive officer during the competition. “What I learned is that it’s really hard to run a company,” he added with a laugh.
Students continued to run their companies for the next ten weeks by making quarterly decisions for five simulated years. The second phase of the competition took place when students traveled to Southern California to complete their company’s quarterly decisions, make presentations to a panel of judges and attend a final awards banquet.
“Sometimes our students forget that they are as good as, if not better than anyone else, and until you are willing to subject yourself to a broader competition you don’t know that,” said Taylor. “The best way to find out is to get out of the classroom and enter a competition with people from around the world and find out.”