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March 25, 2009
University of Dubuque MBA Students Excel

University of Dubuque MBA students currently enrolled in the program's capstone course, Business Modeling , are integrating concepts and material from earlier courses to compete with other MBA teams worldwide in a computer-based simulation that emphasizes key issues involved in global competition.

After five weeks of the eight week computer-based business simulation exercise, three of the five UD teams are performing in the top 10% of the 1498 worldwide teams currently participating in the exercise.

Forty MBA programs, in addition to UD, had teams ranking above the 90th percentile. Some other universities in the top 10% include American University, Harvard, Indiana University, Mercer University, Northwestern University, Penn State University, University of British Columbia, the Citadel, University of Florida, University of Louisville, University of Southern California, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School.

Rich Birkenbeuel, MBA program director, indicated the simulation exercise involves teams of students managing a virtual business simulation that teaches strategy/tactics, accounting, marketing, finance, human resources, teamwork and leadership. The program is offered in conjunction with Management Simulations, Inc. which is the largest provider of business simulations utilized by university and college professors as well as corporate educators for executive education and management training.

Professor Sam Deaver, the course instructor, indicated he uses the exercise because it injects realism, enthusiasm, and interactivity into the course. "People learn by doing. Students face real life business situations, as they react to customer needs and competitive tactics," said Deaver. "Students may forget what they read and hear, but few students forget this simulation exercise."

The students currently enrolled in the UD MBA program represent the following organizations in the tri-state area: AFLAC, Allied Insurance, Vendors Unlimited, Best Western, CDS Global, Chestnut Mountain Ski Resort, Cottingham & Butler, Cummins Emission Solutions, Delta Airlines, Diamond Jo Casino, Dupaco Community Credit Union, Four Oaks, Galena Stauss Senior Care Community, Gavilon Grain LLC, Grand River Center, H&R Block, Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, Honkamp Krueger Financial Services, John Deere, Leisure Services, McGraw-Hill, Menards, Mercy Hospital, Molo Companies, Mound City Bank - Platteville, NICC, Premier Bank, Premier Fitness, Prudential, Relay Health, Rite-Hite (DuctSox), Rock Island Arsenal, Sherwin Williams, Swiss Valley Farms, Target, University of Dubuque, Woodward Communications, and Woodward Printing Services. Others are self-employed in a variety of occupations, including family farming.