University of California, Riverside

Undergraduate Business Program

SoBA News

This marks the first year a team from UCR will compete at the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC).


(April 18, 2012)

A group of two women and four men convene one afternoon to discuss the direction their company, which specializes in high torque drivers, will be taking. They decide unanimously to build a new plant to increase productivity. They discuss changing their capital structure without lowering their credit rating.

But once their meeting ends, they have to hit the books.

These are not C-level executives, but rather MBA students from the UC Riverside School of Business Administration, preparing for a business simulation competition.

Advised by adjunct management professor Roger Conway, the six members of "MBAUCR, Inc." are the first team fielded by UCR to compete against other college teams at the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC), to be held April 19-21 in Long Beach.

Conway, a retired senior fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership, said that this a useful experience for business students to have under their belts. Started in 1965, the ICBSC provides students with the opportunity to simulate a company and make high-level business decisions, as well as face the outcomes of those decisions, as C-level officers might.

The six-member UCR team is headed by MBA student Chihiro Yamaguchi, who serves as their company's CEO. The other members, each assigned their own areas of expertise, are:  Sebastian Dombrowski (sales and marketing); Kiwi Huang (sales and marketing); Tony Huang (finance and accounting); Gurmeet Kharbanda (operations and marketing); and Misa Lin (accounting and finance). Each team member has put in about three to four hours a week of ICBSC work, on top of their MBA studies.

The competition spans seven years (with four quarters each) of activity for each team’s company, with actual simulations started in the third year. In the ten weeks prior to the event, the teams started making decisions remotely for each quarter up until the end of the fifth year. The last two years’ decisions will be made during the “intensive” or on-site phase of the competition, held this year at California State University of Long Beach’s College of Business Administration.

The intensive phase will be a challenge, Yamaguchi said. But she also views it as an opportunity.

“It will be our chance to differentiate our company from others, since we have a very skilled management team,” Yamaguchi said. “I am confident that regardless of what happens at the event we will be able to make adjustments quickly to maximize our company’s performance.”

And according to Yamaguchi, regardless of placement the competition would be a win-win situation for UCR.

"If our team wins in this competition, we can increase awareness and the reputation of the UCR MBA program,” she said. “But even if we don't, we can blaze a path for UCR students who want to compete in the future."

News Contact:
Mark Manalang
Communications Manager & Editor/Writer


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