International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC)
Both CSULB graduate and undergraduate business students submit their International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC) application to be part of a challenging, comprehensive, and thrilling experience. All participants join eager to apply functional academic concepts that they have learned throughout their program. Candidates want to be part of, and contribute to, the competition that previous participants described as, “one of the most rewarding experiences of their college career”. In this simulation, each team takes over the management of a simulated or virtual manufacturing company competing directly against 4-5 other firms run by teams from all around the world. Participants are responsible for making weekly operating decisions for each of the functional areas of finance, marketing, production, and to integrate those decisions for the purpose of meeting the firm’s overall goals set forward by participants.
Representing CSULB by being a “CEO” for one of the simulated companies, TeethTribe, allowed me to advance my business decision-making skills in marketing, finance, production, human resources, management, and strategic business planning. I came to realize that a decision taken in one functional area will have a direct or indirect effect on other functional areas. This competition has also allowed me to grow my personal and strategic network and strengthen my teamwork, communication, and leadership skills by paving the way for me to work closely with some of the brightest CSULB graduate and undergraduate students. I also look forward to the opportunity to connect with other students from different universities as well as with our “Board of Directors”, who are executives with extensive industry experience under their belt.
Despite the challenges and rapid worsening of the COVID-19 situation, the interruption of the class schedules and team meetings, all team members are rising to the occasion with strong determination to prevail and live up to their promises and duties for the ICBSC. All team members are still determined to expand their learning opportunities. As Arturo, an EMBA student, puts it, the ICDC “is a great learning experience that is giving me a taste of running a real company.” He adds; “the simulation taught me to put together all the knowledge I have gained in traditional classes into a real competitive environment. I have also been able to grow my decision-making skills and learn how to produce a pro-forma financial statements, something that I had no exposure to in my current accounting career”.
A rewarding part of the competition is working with team members with different educational backgrounds. I had the opportunity to also work with and learn from both Andrew and Sabrina, a graduate student in supply chain management and an undergraduate student in business management. Both had a positive experience throughout the competition. For Andrew, the competition “allowed us to define our roles around our future career aspirations and then test our acquired knowledge and skills. Beyond that, the competition has encouraged the teams to hone their interpersonal skills by encouraging group work and collaboration”. Andrew’s biggest takeaway from the competition is, “one cannot simply look at his or her responsibilities in a silo.” As for Sabrina, the ICBSC “taught me how to apply the concepts I’ve learned throughout my classes, beyond textbook definitions and looking at examples. I’ve learned what it is like to work with a team and make executive decisions. My knowledge on business overall has increased tremendously”.
One thing all team members had in common is that they are glad to have joined this competition. The competition is open for students with various education background. The learning opportunities are enormous. I encourage students to be part of this experience. The more they put into this competition, the more they will get out of it. The ICBSC is always looking for strong business leaders to be judges. If you are interested in participating as a judge next spring, you can contact Bruce Sparks. CSULB students who are interested in participating next year can contact Barbara Barcon.