A team of MBA accounting students at Maharishi International University in Fairfield recently finished in the 99th percentile in an online business simulation that involved 1,136 master’s-degree-level teams worldwide. The top team reflects the international character of MIU’s student population: Rahul Kedia (India), Sushil Aryal (Nepal), and Ankhbayar Sukhmaa (Mongolia).
This is the eighth time MBA students from MIU have finished in the top tenth percentile since they began participating in the simulation in 2011. Other US universities that finished in the Top 10 th percentile in the window of the MIU competition included Indiana University, Kansas State University, Temple University, University of Georgia, University of Northern Iowa, Ohio University and California State University.
“We had five teams that participated in the simulation for three weeks in January 2017, and as a group they performed better than two-thirds of participating MBA schools,” said Professor Andy Bargerstock, who taught the capstone course that involved participating in the simulation. “As faculty in the business college, we feel that the simulation results demonstrate the readiness of our students for job markets now and ultimately for executive leadership positions.”
The team’s results in this ongoing simulation were confirmed by Brianne Haustein, client relations consultant with Capsim Management Simulations in Chicago, Illinois.
In the online Capsim simulation, points are earned through well-defined metrics based on the Balanced Scorecard, a concept developed by Robert Kaplan at Harvard University. It recognizes four perspectives for measuring performance: customer, financial, internal business processes, and learning/growth.
The students must manage both short-term and long-term metrics across eight rounds of decision-making, with each round representing one year. This entails using their knowledge of marketing, finance, operations, human resources, accounting, problem-solving, and data analysis.
The teams act as executives who plan strategies and implement tactics across eight years of business activities.
While not a real-time competition per se, the ongoing simulation allows MBA teams to compare their performance with all the other teams who have participated in the previous six-month period from the end date of the last round of decisions.
By the time Dr. Bargerstock’s students are in their capstone course, they have taken a variety of courses that might include marketing, finance, human resource management, operations management, business law and lean management. Then, they apply everything they’ve learned by participating in the simulation.
“We began participating in the simulation for a couple reasons,” Dr. Bargerstock said. “It’s an excellent exercise for applying everything they’ve learned. But I was also really curious how our students matched up with other MBA students around the world. It’s gratifying to know that they compare favorably and are clearly ready to be high-level professionals.”
As students leave campus to fill paid practicum positions, and as they have completed their degree and taken positions as alumni, they have shown remarkable success.
Many of the students take online distance education courses toward becoming Certified Public Accountants or Certified Management Accountants while in the practicum phase of the program, thereby entering the job world as a CPA or CMA.
MBA students at Maharishi University come from around the world. Those participating in the simulation are students in the Accounting Professionals Program. They spend eight months on campus taking specialized courses, and then begin their practicum, in which they work as an accountant for up to two years at a U.S. corporation and complete their MBA via distance education.
Approximately 200 students are currently enrolled in various specializations in the MBA program, including those on campus, those in their practicum phase, and in special-purpose corporate MBA programs.
In addition to being accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits universities in the Midwestern region of the U.S., the business program at bachelors, masters and PhD levels at Maharishi University has met the stringent requirements to be accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.