Beginning in February, students from the MEMPC colleges engaged in the first ever cross-school business simulation challenge. Last Monday, March 11, James Du along with teammates Matt Rice (Dartmouth), Terene Teo (MIT), Joanna Clark (Duke), Chi Hung Chong (Stanford), and Penmatsa Sruthi (Cornell) took home the win along with a Nexus 7 Wifi Tablet.
The Winning Team
James Du believes his team won because each member brought a unique talent to the table. trust. “At first everyone wanted to assign roles from the beginning, but I told them we should just wait and see what roles we would fit best.” Du and the other Northwestern students had already participated in a business simulation from PriSim Business War Games in the Gateway class, which offers a similar simulation, and could draw on their experience for the MEMPC challenge. Over the course of the competition, Du said that each success built trust between the teammates and by the end each had taken on a role expressing their unique strengths and talents.
For NUMEM alumni and participant Felipe Saavedra, the MEMPC challenge was more difficult than the classroom simulation because of remote communication. “I think that the competition is a really good opportunity to know new people, my group is really nice people. However (and we knew this) I think it is quite difficult to get the same involvement and commitment when you work with people that you don’t know and using just internet.”
Du also found the remote access to be different, but not necessarily a negative. Sometimes it was a challenge for students to find time to meet all at once, but they took advantage of downtime to socialize and get to know each other better. “Instead of just staring at the screen waiting for people to come online, I started to chat with the other people while we waited.”
Soon the group was joking around and getting to know each other. “We even had a brief little meet-up after we found out we won to celebrate together.” Du enjoyed the competition and found it was more fun than the actual class because all members were volunteers. “I thought it might be better because I knew everyone in the competition wanted to participate, unlike in a class where some people might be doing it because of the requirement,” he said. In the end, the first MEMPC competition was an experiment and another chance to build strength and community between the MEMPC schools. It seems to have succeeded in doing just that. Du and his teammates plan on staying in contact and a few even have made plans to meet up while traveling during spring break.
Update: This post has been updated to include Penmatsa Sruthi from Cornell in the list of winners. We apologize for leaving Ms. Sruthi out of the list of winners in the initial version of the post.
Special thanks to the departments of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford, Master of Engineering Management at Duke, the Master of Engineering Management at Dartmouth, and Master’s Degree in Engineering and Management at MIT for providing pictures of all the winners!