Sixty University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire business students organized into 15 teams recently competed against close to 400 students from all over the world in the 15th Global Marketplace Competition administered by the University of Tennessee. Ten of the 15 teams from UW-Eau Claire, or 40 students, placed in first, second or third place in one of eight simulated industries of competition.
The Marketplace competition plays out over the internet for a ten-week period during which teams of students use Marketplace, a sophisticated computer program that mimics the ever-changing global marketplace as students simulate starting up and running their own marketing division or entrepreneurial firm. The game deals with business fundamentals and the interplay between marketing, manufacturing, finance, accounting and management. As participants gradually build their businesses, the simulation introduces new issues as they become relevant. A narrative storyline holds together the flow of the simulation, which is designed to read like a novel with student teams acting as the characters.
At the last competition, teams were divided into eight separate industries with roughly six competing teams in each industry, so almost all of the 15 UW-Eau Claire teams were competing against one team from their own school and several from other universities. All the teams’ business decisions are fed into a sophisticated computer algorithm which models the real world and determines market demand. Depending upon the quality of each team’s decisions, sales are recorded and each team’s results are computed through eight separate rounds of decision-making to come up with the final winners.
“Our students always are among the top performers,” said Dr. Ron Decker, professor of management and marketing. Decker is especially proud of the fact that his students compete on their own. “I do not give them any suggestions that might give them an unfair advantage,” he said.
There are several difficulty levels of play. The UW-Eau Claire students always compete at the most difficult level, against graduate students, executive development programs and other strong undergraduate programs.
Students who participated in teams that placed first in their industry’s competition were seniors Jamie Anderson, Fridley, Minn.; Kelly Laabs, Oak Creek; Adam Mc Clurg, Oconomowoc; Joe Stanislawski and Justin Floyd, Plymouth, Minn.; Steve Huycke, Appleton; Kim Spiegel, Green Bay; and Kelli Canfield, Maple Grove, Minn.
Students who participated in teams that placed second were seniors Sara Karcz, Pulaski; Ryan D. Nelson, Hudson; Lee Yang, Menomonie; Stephanie Tollefson, Waukesha; Mario Fantauzzi, Elk River, Minn.; Jesse Eckhardt, Long Lake, Minn.; Kelly Knauer, Milwaukee; Nic Dittbrenner, West Bend; Rebecca Becken, Houlton; Kari Larson, Stanley; Erin Rihn, Chippewa Falls; Justin Hennig, Eau Claire; Adam Hendrickson, Minneapolis, Minn.; Scott Nemec, Somerset; Sarah Lom, Wisconsin Rapids; Angela Noffke, Winneconne; and Paul Pagel, Schofield. Cory Sauerwein, New Richmond; Anna Wikstrom, Vaxjo, Sweden; and Matt Pascarella, Osceola, are juniors.
Students who participated in teams that placed third were seniors Brian Bedford, Amery; Robert Carlson, McFarland; Alan Radtke, Brookfield; T.W. Bacon, Lake City, Minn.; Jedd Buchman, Springbrook; Anna Hammer, Lakeville, Minn.; Brenda Kruse, Caledonia, Minn.; Arick Aarthun, Wausau; Nathan Kemp, La Crosse; Tim Schatz, Eden Prairie, Minn.; and Jennifer Jackelen, Rosemount, Minn. Andrew Earnest, Bloomington, Minn., is a junior.
- UW-Eau Claire News Bureau