Students Earn First Place in Business Strategy Competition

By Dan DeCaria, May 15, 2019
Team of five students takes home top honors at the international competition.

From April 25 to 27, a quintet of students from the School of Business traveled to the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition in Anaheim, California. Accompanied by associate professor of management Duncan Duke, the group took home first place at the prestigious competition featuring dozens of schools from around the globe.

The students — Meryl Berger 19, Ginny Fimmano 19, Ferdinand Mase 19, Demetri D'Orsaneo, and Dalton Elias — were selected from the School of Business capstone Strategic Management course. The opportunity was made possible by Jay and Sandra Gelb, who personally funded the grant proposal which made the team's trip possible.

The competition required the students to take over the management of a simulated manufacturing company and to assume responsibility for key strategic and operational decisions in marketing, finance and operations. They were also responsible for delivering a strategic business plan, an annual report and a formal oral presentation to judges who acted as the company’s Board of Directors. The first stage of the competition required a tremendous amount of work to be done remotely in Ithaca, with assistance from Duke.

"Prior to arriving in Anaheim, we would need to make decisions to plug into our forecaster model on a weekly basis, while it turned into bi-weekly once the trip came closer,” Elias said.

Once in Anaheim, the groups were no longer able to rely on their faculty advisors, which required intense collaboration. This is where the group was able to distinguish themselves from their competition and impress the judges enough to take home top honors.

“Our team's ability to make decisions internally and generate strategic policy speaks to the value of a School of Business education," he said.

In addition to bragging rights, the group members earned valuable practical experience and networking opportunities that will serve them well as they leave South Hill and enter the workforce.

“Congratulations to our team of students and Professor Duke for making all of us extremely proud,” said Sean Reid, Dean of the School of Business. “It's a great day to be a Bomber!"