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San Diego State University

Fowler College of
Business Administration

SDSU Scores a Victory in the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition

The SDSU team and advisor show off their trophies

From Left: Raul Hernandez Ochoa, Otto Lange, Carol Venable, Michael Miehaus, Brian Wielenga, Melissa Nguyen.

A team comprised of five SDSU undergraduate students from the Business Honors Program brought home two trophies after they competed in the 50th Annual International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition. The competition involved a remote phase of 10 weeks and then a second, on-site phase which was held in Anaheim, California on April 24-26, 2014. A total of 33 teams from 22 universities from the U.S., Canada, China, and England were divided into seven groups of five teams (called "worlds") as they vied for top honors in two categories: best reports and overall performance.

The SDSU team, consisting of Michael Miehaus (accounting), Brian Wielenga (accounting), Melissa Nguyen (finance), Otto Lange (finance) and Raul Hernandez Ochoa (management) placed first for best reports and first runner-up for overall performance within their "world". The team's faculty advisor and director of the SDSU Business Honors Program is Professor Carol Venable.

It provided me with an opportunity to apply the information I learned in my classes.
Otto Lange
The SDSU team

From Left: Otto Lange, Brian Wielenga, Michael Miehaus, Melissa Nguyen, Raul Hernandez Ochoa

How they built their case

The students participated in a simulation where they ran their virtual company over a period of five simulated years. During that time they reviewed recent and historical financial and operating reports to make marketing, operating and financial decisions for both domestic and foreign operations. In the case of the team from SDSU, the students simulated an organization that produced water bottles with built-in filters.

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 being the simulated company's board of directors and queried the students about their company decisions and results.

The competition definitely exposed me to something new and it pushed me beyond what I thought I could accomplish.
Melissa Nguyen

Lessons Learned

At the end of the event, the team from SDSU was grateful that they participated. "I can honestly say it has been one of the greatest things I have done at San Diego State," said Lange. "It provided me with an opportunity to apply the information I learned in my classes."

Teammate Nguyen added: "The competition definitely exposed me to something new and it pushed me beyond what I thought I could accomplish."