Northwestern business students tie for first place in international simulation

Members of the "Bigger Baller Brand" team include (from left to right): Tyler Jones, Manson, Iowa; Hikaru Hirata, Osaka, Japan; Matt Onken, Marshall, Minnesota; and Jacob Kindhart, Shawnee, Kansas. A fifth member of the team, Ezekiel Foltz, Sioux Center, Iowa, is not pictured.

Five Northwestern College seniors recently recorded a top score in the international Business Strategy Game, a dynamic online simulation in which participants are assigned the task of running an athletic footwear company.

Northwestern students competing in the Business Strategy Game consistently record high scores, often in the top 5% of all teams. One Northwestern team, named “Bigger Baller Brand,” recorded a perfect score of 110 points and tied for the best overall score for April 17–23. During that week, which was the final week Northwestern teams competed for the semester, there were more than 3,800 teams competing worldwide.

Bigger Baller Brand team members included Ezekiel Foltz, a business administration major from Sioux Center, Iowa; Hikaru Hirata, a business administration/marketing major from Osaka, Japan; Tyler Jones, a business administration/finance major from Manson, Iowa; Jacob Kindhart, a business administration/finance major from Shawnee, Kansas; and Matt Onken, a business administration/finance major from Marshall, Minnesota.

The students competed in the simulation as part of their business capstone course, Strategic and Ethical Management, taught by Dan Zomermaand, adjunct instructor in business and economics.

“All aspects of the Business Strategy Game parallel the functioning of the real-world athletic footwear market,” notes the simulation’s website, adding that this allows participants to “think rationally and logically in deciding what to do and get valuable practice in making a variety of different business decisions under circumstances that mirror real-world competitive conditions.”

Each week, every team, referred to as a “company” in the simulation, is evaluated on a balanced scorecard that includes brand image, earnings per share, return on equity investment, stock price appreciation and credit rating.

“The simulation helps students develop their strategic planning, problem-solving, decision-making, communication and teamwork skills,” says Dr. Han-Yen Kao, business department chair. “As a senior seminar class, they also apply what they have learned over the past four years to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of running a business such as financial management, marketing, risk management, leadership, and analyzing markets and economic environments. These skills are essential in virtually every industry from entry-level positions to executive leadership roles.”

Study business at Northwestern

Northwestern's business program will prepare you for more than bottom-line success, as its Christ-centered focus enables you to live out your Christian values in the workplace. With significant hands-on experience and mentorship by faculty experts, Northwestern students stand out on the CPA exam and in the international Business Strategy Game and are in high demand by employers.