Davis & Elkins College management majors are gaining first-hand experience in how decision making can effect a company's performance.
Recently, groups in a upper-level class saw success in their ventures when they ranked in the top 100 of an ongoing business strategy competition.
Using a computer program called GLO-BUS, students in Carol Carter's strategic management class combine the skills they learned in previous level classes to run a simulated business. Each "company," made up of two to three students, compete not only with each other, but with thousands of other students using GLO-BUS at colleges and universities throughout the world.
Each week, GLO-BUS compiles a list of the prior week's best-performing simulated companies worldwide based on four measures: overall score, earnings per share, return on average equity and stock price.
This month, each of the four Davis & Elkins College teams earned Global Top 100 rankings.
"It's very gratifying to see students fully engaged in the learning process; the positive feedback they receive – especially when they are ranked internationally – provides the motivation to improve," says Carter, chair of the Division of Business and Entrepreneurship. "It's quite an accomplishment for our students and I'm very proud of their efforts."
In the Earnings Per Share category, D.M. Cameras ranked 26th best, Ace Cameras ranked 50th best and CaRrOlLs CaMeRaS ranked 55th best for the week of March 10-16. In addition, Ace Cameras performed 52nd best in Stock Price.
Co-managers for D.M. Cameras are David Green of Elkins and Mia Gresak of Mount Clare, WV.
Ace Cameras team members are Emily Hogg of Oakland, Md., and Joshua Poling of Parsons, WV.
CaRrOlLs CaMeRaS is comprised of Pate Mannon of Huntington, WV, and David Karson of Houston, Texas.
The co-managers of Company B earned a Global Top 100 ranking in the Earning Per Share category, coming in with 42nd best performance for the week of March 3-9 worldwide. The team is comprised of seniors Ali Altamimi of Richmond, Va., Ibrahim Almutlaq of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and Endi Frazier of Williamsburg, Va.
Almutlaq says working with the simulated business has shown him how he can apply his business knowledge and ways he can work most efficiently.
"I find if you take a break from working it helps you to better make decisions," Almutlaq explains.
The co-managers of each GLO-BUS company are responsible for assessing market conditions, determining how to respond to the actions of competitors and forging a long-term direction and strategy for their company. In addition, they make decisions relating to workforce compensation and plant operations, assembly plant capacity, pricing and marketing, finance, and corporate social responsibility/citizenship.
"It gives you a broad view and lets you see how everything you learned really gets pulled together," Karson says. "Plus, as one of our last classes here, it's a fun way to interact with everyone."
The Strategic Management class is the capstone course for management majors at D&E. It is designed to focus on the strategic planning and management process to help students gain experience in developing a game plan to guide a company as it strives to accomplish vision, mission, goals and objectives.
Carter says she chose the GLO-BUS program for the course because she wanted a hands-on computer application that would incorporate marketing, accounting, finance and management. The program also allows her to log in and view students' progress or make changes to market conditions to challenge students further.
A weekly report measures student learning in leadership skills, collaboration and teamwork, financial analysis, financial management, operations management, marketing management, human resources management, strategic analysis and planning, and corporate social responsibility.
"They really get involved in it," Carter says. "I've even had students stop me on weekends and want to talk about their company."
Students will continue with the competition throughout the semester.