Undergraduate students in a summer capstone course at the Kelley School of Business on the IUPUI campus outperformed thousands of their peers across the globe—all of whom were competing in a challenging business simulation.
In fact -- More than half the Kelley teams from IUPUI place in the top 10 percent each year.
During the capstone experience, which is among the final courses for Kelley undergraduates, students operate in teams as companies, working to grow a large sensor manufacturing company. They use a computer simulation to develop strategy and make business decisions for their respective organizations in the marketplace.
“During this course, we were able to apply everything we’ve learned so far at Kelley, including leadership, marketing, finance and operations to help maintain success throughout the simulation,” said Olivia West, BS’18. “This course truly enhanced my overall knowledge and gave me perspective on how a few key decisions—from finance and marketing to HR and R&D—can influence a business’s success.”
Through the capstone challenge, teams’ efforts are evaluated and measured against other business students across the world, including graduate students in MBA programs.
West’s team, with fellow students Benjamin Gust and Maha Ali, placed first for profit from over 1,700 global teams. Several teams placed in the top 10 in the world in multiple categories, including return on sales, return on equity and cumulative profit. Todd Roberson, senior lecturer in finance and instructor for the class, says he’s never had this many teams in the top 10 and 20 teams in the country.
“The teams that do really well work really well together,” said Roberson. “They’ve figured out a way to divide the labor so that everybody doesn’t have to touch every decision. You trust him to do his job, and he trusts you.”
“This course challenges you to figure out how to work successfully with other people,” explained West. “Anyone can be in a group together, but the key is finding ways to collaborate and be successful in order to accomplish the goals of the team. These teamwork skills will definitely help me throughout my future career, because it’s made me a more understanding, positive and solution-focused individual.”