Biola University Crowell School of Business students made the “honor roll” in a national business competition, earning a score in the top five percent of participants. The competitive business simulation — run by Capsim — included business students at more than 1,500 colleges across the nation and 6,823 teams.

“The competition was very close,” said Jeff McHugh, professor of business and simulation facilitator. “Usually, one to two teams pull away from the others, but this time four teams were going back and forth and within a few points of each other when it was over, and they made the national rankings.”

Competitors utilized class knowledge and put it into practice by creating successful businesses. In past years, Biola teams made the top five percent, but this year all four Biola-led teams earned the elite status, making the Capsim honor roll for their accomplishment.

Through the simulation, college students from across the nation compete against one another in terms of how well they can perform overall as a team and individually execute their roles. The competition provides first-hand experience to work with one another in various roles of a management team. Professors frequently use the tool to help train students and provide real-world experience in running a business.

“My favorite part of the simulation was the interactive element and the fact that we were competing against our classmates,” said graduate business student and competitor Cy Bryan. “We had all been through the same courses and had learned the same theories and now it was just about putting things into practice. We got to see how our classmates thought and react to those thoughts to win more market share. It was fast-paced and very rewarding!”

McHugh integrates the competition into his courses, utilizing the class to train participating students on how to make decisions to best make their simulated business — and future real businesses — run effectively prior to the competition. Competitors were given one week to complete a training module from Capsim. Following that, McHugh led students through one practice round of decision making and debriefing the results before entering the competition.

“Honestly, we had no idea what we were getting into with this project,” said Bryan. “Professor McHugh gave us some beginning steps and tips and told us we should do the practice round. The more I utilize what I’ve been taught the more successful my businesses will be. There are a number of ways that you can make money but we should always value what will serve others and serve God most of all.”

McHugh is proud of how well Biola teams did this year and excited to see how it will impact their future careers in business.

“They now understand what it means to be a strategic general manager as opposed to managing one department or silo,” said McHugh. “We have bridged the knowing-doing gap. They have improved their systems thinking capabilities by experiencing and managing the interdependencies of the main functions of a business: Product Development, Sales & Marketing, Operations, HR, TQM, and Finance. They learned how to succeed in the short term without sacrificing long-term results.”

Learn more about Biola’s Crowell School of Business and apply now.

Written by Ryan Wingert, government relations coordinator. For more information, please contact