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Baylor Business Freshmen Win Second Place in Capsim Foundation International Challenge

May 2, 2008

By Kate Gronewald

Baylor freshmen Amanda Mitchell and Samantha Stephenson won second place in the Spring 2008 Capsim Foundation(R) International Challenge, a global online business simulation competition designed to teach the essential elements of running a business.

Each participating team ran a $40 million company for five to eight years in the online simulation, which emphasizes finance, cause and effect relationships between functional areas, competitive analysis and satisfying customer demand.

Students made their own strategic management decisions regarding research and development, marketing, finance, human resources, production and Total Quality Management.

"The Capstone and Foundation Challenge provides an opportunity for students of all levels - from first-year undergraduates to MBA students - to find out if they have what it takes to run a multimillion-dollar company," said Dan Smith, president of Capsim and adjunct professor at DePaul University in Chicago.

Smith visited the Baylor campus on Tuesday, April 29 to present award certificates to Mitchell and Stephenson in honor of their achievement.

"Congratulations to the winners and many thanks to the more than one thousand other students who participated," Smith said. "We are confident that every participant now has a better understanding of the effect each decision has on the overall business."

Mitchell and Stephenson teamed up to participate in the competition after working with the simulation this semester in Business, the Economy and World Affairs, a foundational business course taught by associate professor Blaine McCormick.

"Throughout the semester I've learned about the different aspects of business operations, such as research and development cycle time and financial leverage, so it was a cool experience to use that knowledge for decision-making in the Foundation," Stephenson said.

In the final round, Mitchell and Stephenson competed against teams from DePaul University, University of Houston-Downtown, Montana State University-Billings, Florida Atlantic University, and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Both teammates noted the caliber of their competition and emphasized the importance of competitive analysis. They also took away valuable lessons, applicable in both the business world and life itself.

"You really learn to pay attention to details, especially as to what the competition is doing," Mitchell said. "You definitely learn to plan ahead."

In addition to their heightened CEO know-how after competing in the business simulation, both Mitchell and Stephenson now have a better understanding of their business futures. Mitchell sees her aptitude for the simulation as a potential indicator that the business field may be just the right fit, while Stephenson confirmed her recent decision to switch her focus from political science to business.

"I'm hoping I can find a career doing some of the things I learned about in the challenge," Stephenson said. "The Foundation played a big role in me realizing that a business career was definitely right for me."

Mitchell attributed much of the duo's success to their effective collaboration during the simulation, which provided an opportunity to discover the value of teamwork.

"Whenever two people have the will to do something and really want to succeed, they can get it done," Mitchell said.

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