The students of the Bachelor’s Program in International Business (BScBA) at the Mikkeli Campus have the opportunity to develop their skills in courses by solving various business problems. The teaching and learning tools include a simulation and games in various virtual environments.
In the second year of studies, the students of the BScBA program take the Capstone course, where they lead a fictional technology company through a simulated game in a virtual environment – Global Challenge developed by Cesim. During the course, students develop and implement a business strategy for a company that operates in one or more international markets.
This year, the course was taught by Joan Lofgren, Director of the BScBA Program, Dean John Kraft from the Warrington College of Business Administration at the University of Florida, Associate Professor Olivier Maisondieu Laforge from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Lecturer Elyssebeth Leigh from the University of Technology, Sydney.
”The class sessions address, among other things, key aspects international business, such as strategy, finance and leadership, which support the integration and application of previously gained knowledge into the simulation. Versatile teaching methods and different tools activate and challenge students to use all that they have learned during their studies”, Joan Lofgren explains.
The simulation was run in 8 rounds, by 18 teams in three universes. “We asked students to development their company strategy, establish rules for decision-making in the team, make funding and financing decisions, and launch a new marketing initiative. Success in the simulation was measured using operational and financial indicators.
This year was exceptional, as all teams received very high scores in the simulation, but the team Wolves of Wall Street performed particularly well, achieving 27% cumulative shareholder return and reaching the 93 percentile of all Global Challenge players”, Joan remarked.
The Wolves of Wall Street team, Henri Haasala, Nam Ngo, Abdiaziz Mohamed Ali and Eerika Karhu told that they used in the simulation all the skills and knowledge that they have gained during their studies.
“We had an opportunity to understand the complexity of global business operations on a dynamic competitive environment and demonstrate sufficient analytical and problem-solving skills by synthesizing theories and concepts and applying them effectively to business problems that we could face in the real business world after graduation."
Capstone course’s students Jenni Savela and Anni-Maria Rautio explained that they learned to perceive various cause-and effect relationships in the business environment.
“We were able to examine and compare the business strategies and actions of our fellow students that also affected the position of our company on the market and our strategic decisions during the simulation. We also learned from a variety of different business sectors, such as marketing strategies, financial planning, human resources management, production and logistics”.
The capstone has been a required course in the Mikkeli program since 2015, and the challenge simulation has been an integral part of the course from the beginning.