Students practice business strategy in online environment

12 July 2017

p-BSG-marketing-competition-2017 Dr Gavin Northey and Dr Mike Lee with competitors in the inaugural Business Strategy Challenge.

When initially asked why inaugural 2017 UABS Business Strategy Challenge co-winner Felicia Chung thought her team won, she answered: “I just got lucky”.

But, a few questions later, it became clear that for Felicia and team-mate Christy, who was participating remotely from Rotorua, success was far more thanks to sound strategy than good luck.

Animated and passionate, Felicia, a third-year Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Marketing and Information Systems and Operations Management student, describes how “really sudden change of strategies” was the key to her success.

The Business Strategy Game (BSG) is a simulation used as a graded component of the course Marketing 301: Marketing Strategy. The game is adopted by universities internationally with nearly 600 university in 50 countries that use the simulation.

Last semester, the University of Auckland often sat at the top of the leader board internationally. With the game worth 20% of a student’s grade, it really put the pressure on to do well and cooperate with team members.

Marketing 301 student Jared Gregory, from team Badidas, says: “BSG has been a really actively engaging simulation. It kept my group on our toes throughout the entire semester. I like the competitive aspect BSG brings to the table and it has really driven us to do our best.

“The simulation is a great way to learn how to compete running a global company. You constantly need to be engaged or else you will fall behind.”

Course co-ordinator Dr Mike Lee says another great thing about the online course is that it’s really hard to cheat. If there are hints online they get quickly discovered by all the teams rendering any advantage useless very quickly.

At the end of the class, Dr Lee and course lecturer Dr Gavin Northey decided to give the top-teams the opportunity to compete against each other with $1000 up for grabs.

“The Business Strategy Challenge is a sensational example of students applying the broad body of knowledge they have acquired during their time at University of Auckland,” Dr Northey says.

“The teams that competed represented the cream of the crop in terms of marketing strategy. It was great seeing the different approaches they used to identify problems and develop solutions.

“In all, the strategy challenge was an outstanding success and, after seeing their performances, we are sure all participants are going to have successful careers in industry.”

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