Thirteen students at the College of Coastal Georgia are being recognized for practicing winning, competitive, business strategies in a global competition. Twenty-one students in Dr. Bill Garlen’s Strategic Management summer course participated in GLO-BUS, an online simulation where teams of students worldwide compete in a global marketplace. GLO-BUS is used in 22 countries by approximately 317 business schools with 32,600 students per year to teach corporate strategy. Thirteen students landed in the GLO-BUS Global Top 50.
GLO-BUS involves students running a digital camera company, with products such as action cameras and drones, in head-to-head competition against companies run by other classmates and students around the world. Company operations parallel those of actual digital companies; and just like in the real world, companies compete in a global market arena, selling digital cameras in four geographic regions—Europe-Africa, North America, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. Students act as company co-managers and must make decisions relating to research and development, camera performance, production operations, pricing, workforce compensation, finance, and other areas.
Garlen is the director of Business Innovation Development and assistant professor of management, and the curriculum for his capstone class is the GLO-BUS simulation. For the summer course, instead of placing students into teams, Garlen assigned each student their own GLO-BUS company to operate. The course is not easy and requires students to incorporate all that they’ve learned over the last four years. This summer, 653 companies from 69 colleges participated worldwide in the exercise. Twenty-one students were in Garlen’s class and 13 were named to the Global Top 50.
“In the past spring and fall terms, we’ve normally had one or two GLO-BUS companies reaching a ranking in the Global Top 100. This term, we had 13 companies reach the Global Top 50 in 20 different categories,” Garlen said. “For the College of Coastal Georgia School of Business and Public Management students to capture 13—a full 25 percent—of the Global Top 50 performers, is not only an amazing feat that I am sure much larger colleges would be thrilled to achieve, but also proves the caliber of potential managers that Coastal Georgia is graduating.”
The seniors shared lessons learned in running their companies as part of their final presentation. Nicholas Heinrich enjoyed the class and found it helpful in teaching what mistakes to avoid when he runs and operates his future business. For Taylor Baldwin, she learned to not get discouraged. Her company was the last ranked for her industry. With a few minor changes, she not only finished in the Top Global 50, but also ranked second for her industry. Trevor Pruitt said the exercise really made him think about all the decisions he has to make to run a successful business.
“It isn’t just one or two things that need to be done right for a business to flourish,” Pruitt said. “Every department has to be on the same page and understand what the strategic plan is, and the positioning that the company is aiming for.”
Nikki Hodge also understands how important it is for every area of a business to work together for success.
“Understanding how and why all operations interlace and impact each other will make you a successful manager,” Hodge said. “I think that was the toughest. We had to make sure that everything fed off of and correlated with every category.”
Like many students in the course, Antonia Bashir encountered some difficulties with the simulation. The most important lesson she learned about crafting a winning strategy is to devote time to create it. She realized this too late and was disappointed in her overall performance, although she was still named to Global Top 50. However, she walked away viewing the experience as an opportunity to grow, and understands what it takes to properly run a company. Bashir is confident that she will be a top contender in the future.
“If I have learned anything at all in life, is that sometimes our greatest teacher is failure. When you fail, it creates yet another opportunity to learn and better yourself for the next time,” she said. “Although I’m not happy with my performance as a whole, I don’t regret the opportunity that my performance created because I believe that this course served as a lesson to better myself in the end.”
Garlen was very impressed with students’ growth through the course and how they became more knowledgeable and empowered for their future careers.
“It is so gratifying and impressive to see how the students—especially the female students—enter the course with limited exposure to real business, but they leave the course talking like a CEO of a multi-million-dollar international company,” Garlen said. “Learning the corporate language is a very important ability.”
While eight students grew their companies to billion-dollar companies, all now have the knowledge of what it takes to be strategic in business and future endeavors.
The students who achieved a Global Top 50 ranking and will receive achievement certificates from GLO-BUS are:
Industry 7, Company A: Zara Alexander
Industry 7, Company B: Taylor Baldwin
Industry 7, Company C: Caroline Carter
Industry 7, Company D: Jacquelin Mujica
Industry 7, Company E: Nikki Hodge
Industry 7, Company G: Eilinora Griffiths
Industry 7, Company J: Jason Bennett
Industry 8, Company B: Antonia Bashir
Industry 8, Company D: Nicholas Heinrich
Industry 8, Company E: Trevor Pruitt
Industry 8, Company H: Brandon Weaver
Industry 8, Company I: Kelly Buker
Industry 8, Company L: Austin Brittain