Michael A. Crescente, a Senior in the Macaulay Honors College and the Lucille and Jay Chazanoff School of Business, recently placed third overall in the 2021 Mimic Pro Digital Marketing Competition, in which students were ranked on their revenue after completing six rounds of a marketing simulation over the course of two weeks.  Michael has been using Mimic Pro from Stukent in one of his classes this semester, as part of his major in Marketing.  He is pursuing honors in this field, as well as seeking a second major in Management, and minors in Business Data Analytics and Economics.

Michael’s overall simulated revenue of $195,342 was just $193 behind the second place competitor.  His achievement puts him in fine company alongside students from Babson College (who took first and fifth place), Arizona State University, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Brock University in Canada.

Mimic Pro is a software platform that is widely used in business classes across the world to help students learn and apply concepts in no-risk simulated digital marketing scenarios.  Students write advertising content, watch performance indicators, and monitor products and prices in order to test their marketing abilities in a safe environment.  This year’s Mimic Pro Digital Marketing competition was sponsored by HP, which provides a total of $20,000 in scholarships to the participating students, along with offering the top-ranking finalists a chance to interview with the company.

Dr. Nancy Guo, who uses Stukent software in classes such as MKT 360 Internet Marketing, encouraged her students to enter the competition as a way to test their understanding of the concepts that she was teaching.  Professor Guo notes that “Simulation is a great way to facilitate students’ learning experience by placing them in scenarios where they must actively solve problems and achieve goals.  They gain useful insights and feel more comfortable exploring solutions, adjusting direction and finalizing decisions in a context.”

Not only do experiences like this competition help to contextualize the classroom knowledge, but they also provide opportunities for students to examine their work in a broad context, and to have their ideas critiqued by a diverse audience.  Michael himself notes the unique value of simulations, saying that “Mimic Pro has introduced me to Digital Marketing in a way that I have never seen it before.”

Dr. Susan Holak, the Founding Dean of the Chazanoff School of Business, has long been a champion of experiential learning, including simulations and case competitions.  Dean Holak notes that students from the School have achieved a string of successes over the past few years, taking top-five placings in national and international competitions in fields as diverse as marketing, public accounting, real-time data analysis, and financial investment.  “Students can gain valuable expertise and knowledge from simulations where they apply their classroom learning in scenarios that are modeled on real-life situations,” says the Dean.  “Whether working alone or as part of a team, experiential learning opportunities can also allow students to be creative with the skills that they have developed in the classroom.”

Dr. Thomas Tellefsen, Chair of the Department of Marketing commented that, “Michael’s performance demonstrated his ability to compete effectively in a world-class arena.  He applied the knowledge he gained at CSI to develop winning strategies under conditions of risk and uncertainty.  This success is a clear indication of his potential.  I am confident that this will be one of many successes in his career.”

By: Warrick Bell