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Six college students standing against a bright red wall decorated with a dragon illustration and handwritten messages

LeBow Undergraduates Take on a Business Simulation Against International Competition


December 01, 2023

Business and leadership simulations like MikesBikes and Mount Everest have been a staple of LeBow undergraduate curriculum for years. Two teams of LeBow undergraduates pursued the next level of this learning method by taking part in a first-of-its-kind business simulation challenge throughout fall term.

Drexel was one of five universities from around the world participating in the Capsim Global Challenge, and the only one from the United States. For a business simulation involving product development in multiple global markets, the LeBow teams competed alongside teams from the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K., Nyenrode Business Universiteit in the Netherlands, Insper Institute of Education and Research in Brazil and the University of Montevideo in Uruguay, which served as the competition’s host.

Several of these universities had previously partnered with LeBow for Global Classrooms, joint classes exploring global topics in business attended by both LeBow first-year students and students from a university abroad.

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Programs and Recruitment Christian Maxey ‘21 and Clinical Professor of General Business Dana D’Angelo, MBA ’92, recruited upper-class students in the Global Learning Community, who participated in a related simulation during their first-year BUSN 101 and 102 courses, to form teams, with Makeda Daring, a third-year student majoring in business and engineering, and Mel Tonogbanua, a second-year student co-majoring in marketing and business analytics, serving as team leads for “Team Erie” and “Team Andrews,” respectively.

“This competition allowed our students to take competencies they’ve learned in courses such as BUSN 101 and 102 and apply them in a globally-focused, real-life simulation,” Maxey says. “The ability for students to put their skills to action with students from around the world can be a huge differentiator in their personal and professional development, not to mention co-op and job searches.”

The competition unfolded across six rounds, with teams required to submit decisions on deadline and weekly reports reflecting their companies’ performance in terms of both sales and stock performance. Each team’s decisions were evaluated based on profit, market share, market capitalization and return on equity for two different ventures, one low-tech and one high-tech. Ultimately, “Team Andrews” placed second and “Team Erie” finished fourth, with the team from University of Montevideo taking the top prize.

Six college students standing against a bright red wall decorated with a dragon illustration and handwritten messages
LeBow undergraduate members of "Team Erie" who participated in the Capsim Global Challenge.

With students still adjusting to the start of the term and several team members starting their fall-winter co-ops, Daring noted Team Erie experienced some challenges at the outset, including submitting their first-round decision at the last minute, but fell into a more comfortable rhythm as the term unfolded.

“I felt we had a good mix of skills and interests and a good range of majors, plus there were so many of us on the team that different people were able to pick up the slack at different points,” she said.

Tonogbanua’s team divided up according to individual interests in finance, R&D, marketing and production and stuck to a consistent schedule, with team members developing their next steps after each progress report and then meeting in person each Thursday to put things in place before the Friday decision deadline.

Despite showing low profits after the competition’s first round, Tonogbanua says he had confidence that their plan was sound and would show steady growth for the rest of the competition.

“I think we were able to do so well because we stayed consistent and didn’t try to deviate after things didn’t go so well at first,” he says.

Joining Daring on Team Erie were second-year students Shoh Alibekov, Kay Frazier, Sparsh Jain, Rayaan Chonnoo, Tanish Kumawat, Max Mathura and Navya Srivistava, while Team Andrews was comprised of Minh Duong, Helen Gillespie, Evgeniya Palkhouskaya, Ian Surprenant and Tristan Vu alongside team lead Tonogbanua.

Both team leaders say they’re eager to take part in future competitions, and Maxey and D’Angelo aim to assemble LeBow teams for future editions of the Global Challenge.

“We are excited to have been a part of this inaugural experience and look forward to continued years of success with our global partners,” Maxey says.

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Drexel LeBow Logo

Assistant Director, Undergraduate Programs and Recruitment, Undergraduate Office

Headshot of Dana D'Angelo

Clinical Professor, General Business