For University of Houston-Victoria student Svetlana LaFleur, an international business simulation competition for a graduate course was more fun than it was work, and when her group kept earning top spots in the competition, she was not surprised.

“The group work for the simulation was enjoyable,” said LaFleur, a Sugar Land resident. “We all had fun and learned a lot, so earning top rankings was truly icing on the cake. It gave me a sense of pride and appreciation for the opportunity to learn so much.”

LaFleur and her teammates, Alex Mouton of Jersey Village and Shelly Pesak of Needville, recently made UHV School of Business Administration history by earning four weekly top-100 rankings in the eight-week Global Business Simulation competition. In May, a UHV team earned three weekly top-100 rankings for the first time.

The team, called B-Drone Co., also tied for the 12th best Overall Game-To-Date Score performance in the global top 25 ranking. Teams of simulated drone and camera companies were ranked weekly based on criteria that included overall score, earnings per share, return on average equity and stock price.

The team’s Top 100 rankings were:

  • Nov. 18-24: 62nd (tied) out of 2,546 teams from 140 colleges and universities
  • Nov. 25-Dec. 1: 36th (tied) out of 1,598 teams from 91 colleges and universities
  • Dec. 2-8: 29th out of 1,195 teams from 73 colleges and universities
  • Dec. 9-15: 12th (tied) out of 424 teams from 40 colleges and universities

Two other UHV graduate business student teams ranked in the competition as well.

Daniel Ayala of Katy, Danielle Penn of Cuero and Amy Vacek of Palacios led E-Co, or Company E, which tied for 59th from Dec. 2 to 8 out of 1,195 teams from 73 colleges and universities.

Yoshana McEachin of Houston, Brandon Wells of Dallas and Stephanie West of Fort Worth made up F Company, which tied for 75th from Nov. 11 to 17 out of 3,052 teams from 157 colleges and universities.

Students in the Global Master of Business Administration have competed in the global simulation as part of their “International Business Strategy” course for the past 10 years, said Jifu Wang, the school’s associate dean. The course is the capstone for UHV’s Global MBA program. During the simulation, teams of business students from universities and colleges around the world controlled individual digital camera companies in a global simulation of the worldwide economy. Students created strategies to help their companies compete in a global market.

“This shows that our students know how to survive and be successful in a real-world operation,” Wang said. “The students would not be a success if they were not well-prepared by their other professors and instructors. The success of the students is a reflection of the quality of education here at UHV.”

The team spent about two hours a week working on the simulation, Mouton said. The main strategy the group used was to pay off business loans early so that the business could invest in expansion and improvements within the company. The team also was able to work on corporate social responsibility, such as being an eco-friendly company, she said.

“The simulation taught me how to be more focused on how finances affect a company and how to follow the flow of cash,” Mouton said. “It was cool that we were always on top. We worked pretty well as a team and always kept a goal in mind.”

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