ELKINS - Davis & Elkins College senior Oliver Bienias was named Industry Champion by GLO-BUS Developing Winning Competitive Strategies in a simulated business competition with hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the world. Bienias, along with his classmates in Dr. Carol Carter’s Business Strategies class, combined skills they learned in previous business courses to run simulated companies.
“Using the computer simulation allows our students to see in ‘real time’ how their strategic management decisions affect the financial outcomes of their business,” says Carter, who chairs the D&E Division of Business and Entrepreneurship.
Using a computer program called GLO-BUS, students develop and manage a simulated digital camera company. The semester-long exercise parallels real-world operations in which companies compete in a global market arena. Managers make decisions relating to research and development, component usage, camera performance, product line breadth, production operations, workforce compensation, outsourcing pricing, sales and marketing, finance, and corporate citizenship and social responsibility. Students are challenged to craft and execute a competitive strategy that results in a respected brand image, keeps their company in contention for global market leadership, and produces good financial performance.
Bienias says all of his business classes at Davis & Elkins, along with his opinions as a consumer, played a role in helping him make decisions on how to run the simulated company.
“I used the applications we learned to decide where to invest the money and I tried to think like a customer in making some other decisions,” he says. “These are all things I learned in my classes to help me understand why some companies are so successful.”
Each week, the best-performing GLO-BUS companies are measured on four performance variables: Overall Score, Earnings Per Share, Return On Equity and Stock Price.
“This definitely taught me that you have to watch the competitors when you run a business because it gives insight into what decisions you can and can’t make,” Bienias says.
Bienias ranked No. 1 in eight of the 12 weeks of competition, leading up to the top overall award.
“I strived for the best the whole time, but I never expected I would rank this high,” Bienias says. A resident of Appenweier, Germany, Bienias will graduate in May with bachelor’s degrees in finance and marketing. He hopes to work in the finance industry or as a comptroller.
The Business Strategies class is the capstone course for business majors at D&E. It is designed to focus on the strategic planning and management process to help students gain experience in developing a game plan to guide a company as it strives to accomplish vision, mission, goals and objectives.
Carter has been using the GLO-BUS program for five semesters to give students hands-on experience at incorporating marketing, accounting, finance and management skills.
“It’s been very rewarding for the students to be able to apply their business knowledge and compete on an international basis,” Carter says. “I’m very proud of their abilities and believe they enjoy using the computer simulation to build their businesses. After all, this is a generation that has grown up gaming, so if they are able to apply their knowledge while doing something they enjoy it makes for a much deeper learning experience.”
The Davis & Elkins College Division of Business and Entrepreneurship offers a curriculum that gives the student a balanced education consisting of both liberal arts and professional courses through its several areas of concentration. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree may select from Accounting, Economics, Finance, Management and Marketing. A Bachelor of Art degree is offered in Hospitality Management. An Associate Program is also available for students seeking a degree in Accounting, Business and Hospitality Management.
Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.
Photo Caption: Davis & Elkins College senior Oliver Bienias earned the Industry Champion award from GLO-BUS, after achieving a top score in a simulated business competition with college and university students from throughout the world. Presenting the award is Dr. Carol Carter, chair of the Davis & Elkins College Division of Business and Entrepreneurship.