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International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC)

Participate in the ICBSC to prepare for the real world. Selection and registration in November. Compete in Spring.

The Competition is on!

  • CSULB has formed 3 teams to represent the University in the international completion this spring.  
  • Thirteen students have been selected to participate and the interaction with other universities will occur all semester with the final event occurring in person with all of the other schools in April.

Wish them luck!

The International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition is a challenging competitive event that serves universities, their students and the business community. The Competition provides students with an exciting learning experience in which they, in direct competition with other college teams, run a simulated company and have the opportunity to network with business executives and students from around the world. Universities benefit by participating in a program that encourages student engagement, builds school pride and provides their best students with an experience that can jump-start their careers with a resume-building activity. Our business partners benefit by being able to meet and recruit talented individuals who have had the personal and professional growth experience of the ICBSC.

 Pending - 2021 ICBSC Application Package (PDF) 

What is the Competition?

In this competition, university teams of four to six students take over the management of a simulated manufacturing company competing directly against 4-5 other firms run by competitor teams from other universities. Teams in the competition are divided into “worlds” of about four to six companies with undergraduate teams and MBA teams having their own worlds. Each team assumes responsibility for key strategic and operational decisions in marketing, finance, and operations. Team members have the experience of running their own company as they strive to outperform their rivals.

Why is this Competition unique?

This business competition involves both a remote phase and an intensive phase that, together, extend over a period of about ten weeks. The remote phase begins in January (the first week of Spring classes for CSULB) at home campuses; the intensive phase will occur April 16-18 when all teams travel to the on-site hotel in Anaheim, California. During the intensive phase, students meet their peers from other universities, an experience that intensifies the competitive element of the competition and encourages networking.

What do students say about the Competition?

• “The competition gave me the resources and knowledge that cannot be learned in a classroom. It showed me the
importance of having a solid plan and being able to execute it. Most importantly, I can attribute a big part of my
success to specific lessons learned during the competition.”

• “I learned more in this class/competition than in all my classes over 4 years”

• “This is the only class I liked coming to and working on.”

Key Dates

Student Benefits

Each year students say that the competition has been the most rewarding experience of their college career. Some have said the greatest benefit was the realistic opportunity to apply academic concepts; others said the greatest benefit was being an integral part of a closely-knit, finely honed team. Students listing the competition on their resume have discovered that it has helped them land a job or a valuable internship. Some have even benefited from interviewing with a person that had earlier participated in the competition as a judge or team member. For students, the benefits include:

  1. Hands-on experience of actually "running" a corporation
  2. Bringing together functional academic concepts resulting in an integrated, applied management experience
  3. The taste of battle with, at times, stirring success, or, at times, stunning failure--at least in the perspective of the moment
  4. Feeling the synergy of the team experience
  5. Earn three units of elective credit, if the program allows (always check with your advisor)
  6. "The single most rewarding experience in my entire college career." (quote from former student participant)
  7. Become part of the CSULB winning tradition
  8. Great resume builder!

Who Should Apply?

Acceptance to be on a team is through the application. The best candidates will be those CSULB students who have completed their core coursework. Undergraduate students should have completed IS 301, MKT 300, MGMT 300, and Acct 201 before applying. Usually juniors and seniors. MBA students should have completed enough units to be in their second year of the program. In some cases, first-year MBA students with undergraduate business degrees or extensive business work experience might be qualified to be on an MBA team.
While no specific GPA is required, students who have earned at least a GPA of 3.0 if an undergraduate and a 3.3 if an MBA, like a challenge, are problem-solvers, and have a flexible schedule that will allow them to meet on weekends or other times with their team members are especially encouraged to apply. The competition is time-consuming. Expect to spend between 4-10 hours outside of class each week working with your team. Good writing, analytical, presentation and computer skills, including the ability to use Excel or other spreadsheets are skills essential to being successful in the competition.


Contact Barbara Barcon, CSULB ICBSC advisor/lecturer, at