Purdue Calumet Insight Online Fall 2012

Friday, August 24th, 2012 - 2:52 pm

It took lots of time, hard work & preparation to be #1 in the world

David Ramsey was a key player on his academic business/management student team that participated last fall in The Business Strategy Game. Now a Purdue Calumet graduate, having double-majored in management information systems and finance, Ramsey would recommend the experience of his Strategic Management 4500 capstone course to any student, especially those who have not yet experienced the real world of employment.

“I was working full time when I took Strategic Management 4500, so I already had knowledge of how business operates,” Ramsey shared.  “However, this experience really brought home just how much is involved and how complex it really is.”

The Business Strategy Game, published and marketed by McGraw-Hill/Irwin, is an online, simulated business competition that required Ramsey and his three classmates to “sell” branded, privately-labeled athletic shoes in four geographic regions: Europe-Africa, North America, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. As a team, they had to make best business practice decisions relating to plant operations, distribution, warehousing, work force salaries, online sales, sales and marketing, and finance.

Ramsey noted that while the exercise was called a game, it wasn’t always fun. “Actually, I did enjoy it, but the experience required a lot of time outside of the classroom,” he said. “I spent my 45-minute train commute to and from work in Chicago studying reports and strategies. I had to stay on top of exchange rates, understand the effects of salary changes and all sorts of details.”

The result? Competing against 4,247 teams from 288 colleges and universities across the world during fall 2011, Ramsey’s team tied for the No. 1 ranking.

“I was pretty focused on where our team ranked,” Ramsey said. “Since it was online, I was constantly looking at the current rankings and trying to see what the competition was doing. Understanding the competition is a big factor in any business.”

Ramsey said what he gained most from the experience was understanding how all parts of business are so intertwined. “It’s not just about the bottom line. You learn that you may have to sacrifice one thing to accomplish another, or that a seemingly positive change you make to a process on one end might have a negative effect somewhere down the line.”

After looking at his job progression and his career path and with some urging from his wife, Ramsey realized he needed to earn a college degree and enrolled at Purdue Calumet in the fall of 2006. “I was working full time and had a wife and family, but I still managed to do it,” he said. “I’ve already taken some graduate courses and my plan is to move forward and earn a Purdue MBA.”

–Megan Summers