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Business students place first in worldwide competition
Monday, December 15, 2008

FREDONIA, N.Y. — December 11, 2008 — Five SUNY Fredonia School of Business students earned first place in an international business simulation competition, in which they competed against more than 1,000 teams from more than 70 participating colleges and universities worldwide.

The students — Claire Armella of Brocton, N.Y. (Business Administration), Eileen Bennett of Fredonia, N.Y. (Accounting), Lynnette Luder of Westfield, N.Y. (Business Administration), Valarrie Russell of Frewsberg, N.Y. (Business Administration), and Ryan Welsh of Smithtown, N.Y. (Business Administration) — were enrolled in Fredonia’s Strategic Management class (BUAD 499) during summer 2008 and became co-managers of Aperture, Inc., a fictional online camera company.

The competition was the Global Business Strategy Simulation (GLO-BUS), the world’s only international student business simulation competition that focuses on competitive business strategy. It is an entirely online exercise that allows teams of students to operate their own company and engage in head-to-head competition with other students running other companies. The simulated company’s operations paralleled those of actual digital camera companies, and the students competed in a global market arena, selling products in four geographic regions: Europe-Africa, North America, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

“With online distance learning management simulations, Fredonia business students now have the option of participating in a learning environment which is reflective of how business is conducted,” said School of Business Professor John Wroblewski, who led the class. “They learned how to overcome communications barriers, develop virtual teams, arrive at consensuses at a distance, and make decisions which are measurable, all of which are important characteristics potential employers seek.”

The simulated company co-managers made decisions relating to research and development, component usage, camera performance, product line breadth, production operations, workforce compensation, outsourcing, pricing, sales and marketing, and finance. The challenge was to craft and execute a competitive strategy that results in a respected brand image, keeps the company in contention for global market leadership and produces good financial performance based on earnings per share, return on investment, stock price appreciation and credit rating.

“Virtualization and globalization has become standard with most organizations,” added Wroblewski. “Whether it’s employees interacting with superiors, sales and marketing staff talking to customers, or production personnel negotiating with suppliers, they all are conducting business online from different locations and utilizing technology to facilitate the exchange of ideas. This experience gave our students some real-world lessons that they can carry with them for a lifetime.”

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