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Baylor Business Seniors Show Leadership, Teamwork, Decision-Making Skills in Strategic Management Challenge

May 7, 2010

Winning teams were announced May 3 in the Spring 2010 Strategic Management Challenge at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business.

In the competition top student teams in the capstone business course demonstrate their decision-making skills by integrating knowledge they have acquired during prior courses in the business school. The competition involves student teams managing complex firms (more than $100 million in annual revenue, five market segments and multiple products) in an intensively competitive simulated industry. Student teams have each already won a semester-long business simulation competition in their respective sections of the Strategic Management course to win the right to compete in the competition.

Dr. Jamie Collins, assistant professor of Management, sees the impact of the competition on his students.

"The Baylor Strategic Management Challenge is an opportunity for students from across the business school who are nearing graduation to differentiate themselves from their peers," said Collins. "The competition provides a venue for high-achieving students to demonstrate their decision-making skills, teamwork skills, as well as the ability to effectively navigate complex, stressful choices. Students who participate in the competition exhibit greater business acumen and increased confidence in their professional capabilities."

Each team is responsible for serving as the executive leaders for their respective firms, thus the students are responsible for the overall performance of their firms. This begins by formulating a business level strategy and then implementing their chosen strategy via functional-area support decisions. These functional areas of responsibility include: product research & development, production/operations, marketing, finance, HR (including labor negotiations), Total Quality Management (TQM)/sustainability, and on-going competitive intelligence.

The Baylor Strategic Management Challenge involves a time-pressure component to simulate compressed decision making cycles often faced by executives. The students competed in a simulated eight-year period during the final week of the semester.

"The first couple of rounds we focused on building our infrastructure in order to fully maximize our profits in later years," said Andrew Butin. "Once we got to year four our strategy became maintaining our lead. During the later rounds we focused on just out producing and out growing our competition.

"The competition gave me the opportunity to use the skills that I have learned throughout my classes at Baylor, and integrate them into a 'realistic' business. I learned how the decisions made in one area of the business directly impact other important areas of our business strategy," Butin added.

Each 1st Place Team received cash prizes and plaques. Second place student teams received cash and certificates. This semester's winning teams are:

Industry #1

1st Place Team:

Andrew Butin

Nicole Doth

Christine Gallia

Ashley Thompson

Chance Trafton

2nd Place Team:

Jonathan Aclin

Justin Brown

Kevin Brown

Tyler DeLoach

Chad Traxler

Industry #2

1st Place Team:

Justin Baer

Adrian Delvalle

Courtney Johnson

Misael Santoyo-Ortega

Patrick Swindle

2nd Place Team:

Eugene Park

Blakely Norris

Sarah Leyda

Mandie Brock

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