UTA marketing senior wins international business simulation competition

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 • Media Contact : Herb Booth

A University of Texas Arlington marketing senior won an international business simulation competition, beating business students from 104 universities across 14 countries.

Ryan Su took top honors in the 2017 Capsim Fall Challenge from five other finalists in an intense, eight-hour competition.

Ryan Su
Ryan Su, a UTA marketing senior, won the 2017 Capsim Fall Challenge, an international competition among college students.

In the online simulation challenge final, Su owned a sensor company in which he had to design a virtual product with different specifications, which affected things like sales and customer views.

“The most difficult part of the competition was to forecast how many units you’d be able to sell,” Su said. “You also have to make decisions in the business dependent on each other. For instance, you might make a finance decision and see how research-and-development fits into that decision. It’s very realistic.”

The UTA student accumulated 738 out of 1,000 possible points. The second-place finisher earned 706 points.

This is the second UTA student to win the competition from Senior Lecturer Dwight Long’s class. The first won in 2015.

“Ryan’s hard work paid off in a big win for him and UTA,” said Long, who also received a certificate for excellence in teaching from Capsim. “This challenge reflects real-world problems in the business world, and is a perfect example of UTA’s singular focus on developing students who are highly skilled and capable of contributing to the workforce the day they enter it. I congratulate Ryan and I’m excited that future students can continue to learn from his excellence.”

Su plans to study for his MBA after he graduates. He hopes to go into product-brand management or advertising management.

He first used Foundation Business Simulation, which is Capsim’s competition software, in Long’s class.

“Foundation helped me increase my business knowledge by showing me how I can apply it in a competitive business situation,” he said. He registered for the Capsim Challenge because “I enjoy competing with students from other schools.”

The biannual Capsim Challenge is open to all students who have completed a Capsim business simulation in the preceding semester and attracts thousands of competitors worldwide. The top six teams compete to see who can run the top corporation in a high pressure, zero sum environment. They are assessed using a Balanced Scorecard, ensuring the finalists succeed on a range of business parameters, not just the bottom line.

According to Capsim President Reda Chafai, “Descartes said understanding requires intuition and deduction, and a business simulation provides practice in both. It has the financial information students need to deduce what the competition is doing – and how to respond – and offers the experience they need to develop their business intuition. Ryan has demonstrated he has what it takes to make a great manager – one who understands business from many different angles.”

Luke Courtright, coordinator of the Capsim Challenge, said, “There is an impressive level of professionalism and dedication in our finalists. They enter the competition on their own time, at a very busy time of year, and give it all they’ve got. Winners like Ryan show they can work in a pressured environment, making decisions, analyzing data, and getting results fast. He’s got a solid start for a successful career in business.”