ISU Student Team Competes in International Strategy Competition in California

POCATELLO – A team of six Masters of Business Administration students at Idaho State University’s College of Business will travel to Anaheim, California, this week to compete in the 54th annual International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC).

The competition, which is hosted by California State University at Long Beach, includes student teams from schools throughout the United States and as far away as China.

The competition began in late January, with ISU’s team creating a company name Innovative Solar Utilities, imagining a product that was a portable solar energy charger and writing a full business plan for its company. The team then ran its company in a computerized business simulation by making 12 sets of “quarterly” strategic decisions weekly involving operations and production, marketing, finance and sales projections. Through the simulation, ISU’s team has competed with other schools in its division on a variety of performance outcomes, including net income, market share, return on assets, stock price and return on investment.

Now that the first imaginary 12 “quarters,” which would be three years, of decisions are completed, the final two years (eight quarters) of decisions will be made this Thursday and Friday on-site in an intense 48 hours in Anaheim.

On Saturday morning, the team will defend its decisions to a set of judges drawn from managers and executives from companies throughout the western United States. The competition concludes with an awards banquet Saturday afternoon.

“ICBSC is such a great educational experience,” said Alex Bolinger, associate professor of management at ISU’s College of Business and a co-advisor of ISU’s team. “It allows students to apply all of the knowledge that they are learning in our classes and really understand what it means to run a company and make decisions that matter.”

Idaho Central Credit Union sponsors ISU’s participation in the ICBSC through a generous contribution. ICCU CEO Kent Oram and his executive team have also invited ISU’s team to the ICCU campus to practice the presentation it will be delivering to the judges in California.

“I cannot say enough for Kent Oram and ICCU and their support of this program,” Bolinger said. “Not only has ICCU’s financial support allowed our students to participate in this competition, but Kent’s executive team members have made themselves available to consult with members of our student team, providing invaluable advice to our students for how to manage the nuances of leading a company. They have treated this as a true partnership and they have really gone above and beyond on behalf of our students.”

ISU is the only university from Idaho, Utah, Montana or Wyoming to offer its students the opportunity to participate in this competition. The ICBSC represents just one of the unique “signature experience” opportunities available to students at ISU’s College of Business.

For more information about this and other professional development opportunities at the College of Business, please contact Director of Professional Development John Ney at 208-282-3637 or neyjohn.

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