Our first year students today are presenting the results of their semester-long business simulation, LINKS. This sophisticated business simulation project is a launching pad for students in the first semester and will return as a comprehensive capstone experience in the final semester.

Teams make weekly decisions about opportunities, product development, strategy, production and positioning in the global marketplace. They receive weekly feedback on sales results, market share, stock prices and bottom-line profits. The business simulation enables UST MBA students to more fully integrate all the elements of their education: teamwork, analytical skills, communication skills, core disciplinary knowledge, strategic thinking and effective decision-making.

The presentations are essentially to make the case to the CEO that the management team for this part of the business should carry on in its role…based on their performance and what they learned over their time in charge.

Beyond this description, it is very interesting to watch each team’s presentations–and the progress these students have made since their first presentations during launch week in August. The presenters are polished and confident, well-prepared and not afraid to discuss the challenges they faced during the course of the simulation. After their prepared remarks, the Dean, classmates and faculty members are grilling each team with a variety of tough questions on their findings. Lots of stress, I’m sure, but it makes for a worthwhile learning experience. Now, these students just have 4 finals left…easy!