Business and Enterprise Management seniors earned cash prizes and bragging rights on December 6 for their performance in a worldwide business simulation game called the Capstone® Challenge. Students in Dr. Dan Fogel’s BEM 388 Management Simulation class applied what they had learned in previous courses in operations, marketing, finance, human resource management and information systems to plan a strategy for their companies and make critical managerial decisions in a realistic, competitive environment.
“The Challenge” this year at Wake Forest involved 29 live teams representing five different industries. Students met in class early in the semester for preparatory lessons and then worked in teams outside of class to complete the simulation exercise. Wake Forest MBA students served as consultants. The Challenge involved turning around a poor-performing company with five average products in very different market segments, while satisfying customer demands for better, faster and cheaper products.
“It’s a phenomenal integrative experience,” said Fogel. “It’s like running a real company. Executives I have done this with in the past say the simulation is very realistic.”
As in the real world, the management teams had to make presentations to a simulated Board of Directors and offer recommendations for the company to move forward.
Students Martin Booth, Robert Reinhard, Ryan Schroeder and Fraser Song took home first place honors for finishing first in their industry and first overall based on their team presentations and outcomes. The team was able to share a check for $1,000.
“They were unbelievable. You can see that in their relative ranking. There were 550 undergraduate teams competing at this given time and a group of Wake Forest students was number one in the world in four of the eight metrics. Their stock price was $325!” said Fogel.
“When we found out we had the number one stock price and ninth most cumulative profits out of over 500 teams we were just thrilled and honored. It makes us all feel great about our decisions to attend Wake Forest University and pursue degrees in business,” said Reinhard.
“Our team really learned the importance of sales forecasting and production schedules. To help learn how to have accurate forecasts and schedules, it's imperative to perform a competitive analysis. Those are skills that I know we will all take with us in our future careers in management,” he said.
“I believe our results are a testament to the overall strength of the business program here at Wake Forest seeing as the simulation took into account the five of the major functions of a company (R&D, Marketing, Production, HR and Finance),” said Schroeder.
Gordon McCray, Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Business Programs, presented certificates to the winners during a celebration and awards ceremony in the Kirby Atrium.
Anne Davis, Ryan Edwards, Raina Enand and Peter Lacerenza were tied in second place with a team comprised of Michelle Lange, Daniel Marris, Austin Stadler and Kathryn Swain. Both teams earned $500 prizes.
There was also a tie for third place. Sydney Bailey, Alan Blount, Benjamin Fish and Stephen Rudberg tied with Caroline Fisher, Rachel Goldberg, Allison Lyons and Cean Oliveira. Third place paid $150.
Caine Dvoksin, Elizabeth Farr, Greg Gorman and Parker Schweer finished fifth and received a $100 check.