Sweethearts Dance brings community together
Capstone gives business students skills
|Posted May 8, 2009|
A team of La Verne students has taken the lead in an online business competition, beating out 1,600 other schools from across the country for the top spot.
Students Christopher Contreras, Shelia Del Castillo and John Hentsch are all enrolled in Janis Dietz’s Business Seminar 496 capstone course and have been on top of the competition in five of eight rounds during the game while competing against 1,600 other schools.
“Out of eight rounds our team came in second two times and first four times (consecutively) for overall cumulative profit. We also came in first in many other categories but they aren’t as important,” said John Hentsch, a senior business administration major.
The capstone simulation allows students from different schools to go head to head in running a $100 million fictitious sensor company for five to eight years, which is done over a five to eight week period. Student groups make decisions on how much to spend in different areas of their business such as research and development, marketing and human resources and whether or not they are looking to produce low or high end products. Teams then finalize their choices and enter them into the Capstone system on Sunday nights, where the simulation runs for the week.
Hentsch was happy with their results, but it was not glory from the get go.
“We were successful by developing a long term plan. We did miserably the first two rounds but our investments made the difference the rest of the game,” Hentsch said.
“It the first time in 14 years I’ve had a No. 1 team that long in the competition,” Dietz, a professor of business administration, said. “We use Capstone in place of a term paper. They have to know how to play the game effectively.”
Christopher Contreras, a senior business administration major, likened this experience to that of a pilot training.
“Like a pilot simulator, this is a virtual business simulator. Capstone allows us to put in our own information and makes us strategic managers and based on our decision, well see how were doing,” Contreras said.
Contreras also attributed his team’s success to the fact that they would heavily re-invest money back into themselves, a strategy that has proved key so far.
And while the students enjoy the personal success it brings, they aren’t quick to forget where they’ve learned their skills
“This is important for our school because it gives more credibility to the University, more specifically the department of business. This is important for us because, as graduating seniors, the school has done a lot for us and it is nice to give a little back,” Hentsch said.
David deBos can reached at email@example.com.