Management Students Conquer IBM Business Simulation Challenge

By Kevin Manne

Release Date: November 1, 2012


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Thirty-five students in the University at Buffalo School of Management faced off on Oct. 20 in an IBM-sponsored simulation designed to give students a taste of the real business world.

Student teams took part in the daylong event, competing against each other to showcase their sales expertise and leadership know-how to IBM professionals.

Kristen Ilecki, MBA '14, Twiesha Vachhrajani, '14, Min Sam Ching, '13, Brian Bock, '13, John Keating, MBA '14, Ryan Hauser, '14, Samuel Huoh, MBA, '13, Qianyu Zhou, MS '14, and Harish Govindarajulu, MBA '14, made up the two winning teams.

Each team was given information that outlined the strengths and weaknesses of a mock technology company. Participants then created and executed sales strategies and made several simulated sales calls to try to sell their product to the judges.

The top teams from each of two competing groups were selected as overall winners based on financial performance (percentage of revenue growth in sales), strategy and execution, communication and professional ethics, and team collaboration.

"The simulation was great because it gave students the opportunity to face real business challenges right from the pros who are out working in the field every day," said Charles Lindsey, assistant professor of marketing in the School of Management and a competition judge. "It's this kind of experience that takes the work we're doing during the semester and really makes it hit home."

In addition to Lindsey, five IBM professionals served as judges for the competition: Samuel Barbera, MBA '83, account executive, business analytics; Douglas K. Brown, territory manager, general business Upstate New York; En Yong (Ian) Chen, global business services, consulting by degrees program; Bill Deck, business transformation manager, finance; and Julie Giron, senior financial analyst.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit