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RIC Team of Business Students Outrank 95 Percent of Their International Competitors

From left: Jiyun Wu, RIC assistant professor of management; Cristina Carneiro ’13, Katelyn Henault ’13 and Robert Grant ’13. Kyle Silva ’13, not shown, was also a member of the team.

From left: Jiyun Wu, RIC assistant professor of management; Cristina Carneiro ’13, Katelyn Henault ’13 and Robert Grant ’13. Kyle Silva ’13, not shown, was also a member of the team.

 

A team of business students from RIC outranked 95 percent of their competitors in a semester-long simulated business competition involving 4,000 international teams.

Jiyun Wu, professor of management at Rhode Island College who specializes in strategic management, taught and supervised the eight RIC teams that competed. The contest was designed to give them hands-on experience interacting with and adapting to a competitive environment. It tested their business acumen and their strategic thinking skills.

First, the teams defined their company’s mission and crafted a strategy. On a weekly basis they made decisions in the areas of research and development, marketing, production, finance, human resources and total quality management.

Evaluations were given at the end of each of eight rounds using the balanced scorecard and other measures such as market share, return on assets, return on equity and return on sales.

By the end of the semester, one of the eight RIC teams made a total of $186 million in total profits and scored overall in the 95th percentile internationally. Another RIC team scored in the 90th and 97th percentiles in the last two rounds respectively and boasted a stock price of $228.

Wu’s students gave in-class presentations at the end of the semester, explaining why their strategies worked or did not work.

“Successful teams often have good group dynamics,” Wu said. “One of our successful teams was a group of friends who frequently held meetings over lunch.”

David Blanchette, dean of the School of Management, sees it as a win for RIC students, faculty and the college.

He said, “When you combine our students' motivation with the passion and expertise of our instructors and the quality of our program and facilities, these kids had every chance to excel, and that's just what they did.”