Mesa, Arizona ~ Benedictine University Mesa’s business program is helping undergrad students reach their ultimate potential via an online strategy game known as The Business Strategy Game. This game is typically reserved for students enrolled in the college’s MBA program, but Chuck Johnson, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, decided to expand the opportunity to the younger class.
“The experience of the game gives the students as close to a real world experience in management as they could get. It provides them with a great foundation that they can offer to employers after graduation,” Johnson said.
Students in BenU Mesa’s Strategic Management course are broken up into four groups and must compete against hundreds of groups around the world in a contest designed to help them better understand the internal workings of a business.
Each group develops a fictional shoe company over the span of nine years, or, nine weeks in real time. Their efforts are measured against the other participants and honored via a weekly Top 100 rankings list posted on the game’s website.
“Students always say they wish they had a few more weeks. What that tells me is that they’re learning. And they have a better understanding of the consequences of their decisions,” Johnson said.
Indeed, the game has helped several students better comprehend business strategy. Jose Lopez, for example, admitted he had never thought much about the minute details that went into a business’s overall success.
“There’s a lot of things we don’t see that goes into a company. [The game] gives us a lot of opportunities to see all the little details, things we need to look at, and how a company runs. Stock is a big thing; imaging, branding and celebrity endorsements. Little things like that – and the way you use them – can make a company successful,” Lopez said.
Other students who walked away from the capstone course with a better knowledge of business strategy include senior Karla Moyano, who realized there was more to a successful business than customer service and sales. In fact, the class provided her an inside look at the “internal workings of a business,” namely supply and demand, return on investment and corporate sustainability, among others.
Irving Sanchez likewise accepted Johnson’s challenge, and ended up guiding his group to a Top 20 finish in four out of the nine total weeks. He admitted that running a business is not easy, mainly due to the amount of decisions needed to be made on a daily basis.
“If anything, I’ve learned that small changes can have big impacts. Hopefully I can apply what I’ve learned in my jobs,” Sanchez said.
Benedictine University Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine was named among "America's Top Colleges" for the seventh consecutive year in 2017 by Forbes magazine. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (602) 888-5500, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu/mesa.