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[update] Students Finish 4th in Global Competition

January 07, 2014

A group of students from the College of Staten Island’s School of Business advanced to the final round of the MikesBikes business simulation World Championship. The team, Luxury Bertels, is comprised of Mohammad Chugtai, Javad Ali, Usman Ahmed, and Catherine Jeanbart who, over the course of last semester, have competed not only against classmates but against thousands of other student teams across the globe.

UPDATE: CSI slipped past Loyola College in Ontario during the last few minutes of competition to edge Loyola out for fourth place in global competition.  ”Our team completed in the finals agains institutions from Australia, India, Canada, and the US,” noted Dr. Susan Holak, Founding Dean of the School of Business, adding “This is a fantastic finish for the School of Business team and a real credit to Professor Bertels!  Through creative pedagogy, she has sparked excitement and learning by doing in this class.”

The students, part of Professor Heidi Bertels’ Management 416 call “Decision Making in Business” is a capstone management course which tasks senior business students with analyzing the problems that face all business managers. The students run a simulated bicycle manufacturing company and deal with everything from sales forecasting to marketing, production planning, personnel, pricing, and finance.

Smartsims, the company that runs MikesBikes, keeps track of all the data from all of the teams worldwide. They invite those teams that were top performers while playing against their classmates to compete for a spot in the world championship. 85 of the best teams from universities and colleges around the world competed in the qualifying round. The top eight teams of the qualifying round, including a team composed of CSI students, and then advanced to the actual world championship. Cash prizes are awarded to the first and second place winners and the championship players will also be featured on the Smartsims’ website and awarded a Championship Certificate.

The reason Professor Bertels uses MikesBikes for her class business simulation is fairly straight forward. The manufacturing industry is, according to Professor Bertels, “fairly typical and as general as possible.” So business management students of all stripes can learn from working with the simulation. She is also a big believer in getting students’ “noses out of the books” and actually having them apply the business concepts they have learned throughout their careers as CSI business students.

“The competencies required to perform well in MikesBikes are an understanding of all areas of business on the one hand and persistence and dedication on the other,” said Professor Bertels of the challenges her MGT 416 students face. “The simulation is involved as the students need to make decisions based on financial statements and reports that take into consideration manufacturing efficiency, market sensitivities to advertising and delivery performance, competitor performance and shareholder value. Every time the simulation advances a year, the students need to study the updated reports and make informed decisions based on the changing market and competitive situation. Students that do not work diligently on doing this every week will not perform well in the simulation.”

Dr. Susan Holak, Founding Dean of the School of Business (Interim) and Professor of Marketing at CSI, is very proud of Professor Bertels’ students. “This is a tremendous accomplishment for our students under Professor Bertels’ terrific leadership and guidance.”

“MikesBikes! A name that normally scares students in MGT 416,” exclaimed Javad Ali, one of Luxury Bertels’ team members. “Through hours and hours of trial and error, online, offline this game just doesn’t stop.”

Another member of Luxury Bertels had this to say about the MikesBikes simulation, “This simulation game is perhaps the greatest and most effective tools in learning how to run and manage a full scale business.”

By Ken Bach


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