5 aprilie 2016

Simformer Business Cup 2016 through the eyes of a professor

The day I found out about Simformer Business Cup was a magic day :) I do not usually enter LinkedIn but that day I entered and I saw a message from Adelina Jensen, a representative of Simformer. She announced me about the opportunity to apply for a contest on business simulations. I was really happy because I searched all the Internet to find a business game for my students. 
I found out at the end of February and the contest was starting at the beginning of March. So, I did not have much time to convince my students to register to the contest, create their teams and also a Facebook page for their virtual company. 
I was very grateful that my students were enthusiast and dynamic. They told me the game was becomming addicting, but in a good way. They loved it. 

One of my students (Lavinia Elena Balan) wrote an article for a local paper of students at Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Craiova, Romania - Simformer Experience (in Romanian). She said she waited Simformer Business Cup even more than she ever expected Santa Claus. 

Silvia Neamtu, another student: The subject of business simulations is a practical one and I think we were all very involved in the contest, very interested and started a lot of debates. We finally made something practical, useful and closer to the reality. 

We talked about Simformer at a local marketing club organized by me in March and two teams (the team placed on the second position in the contest and another one with two students in the first year) were speakers there.
The team of Diana Bobaru was on the second position in the first stage. In the pic, you can see three members of the team: Cristina Raicu, Gabi Pungari and Gabi Tudor. 

The team of Diana Bobaru and her team mates Cristina, Gabriela, Gabriel and Adrian
Me (middle) and the team of two students in the first year, Andreea Maracine and Beatrice Iovu, two enthusiast girls

Me and the girls from Brave Corporation, Silvia Neamtu, Roxana Mihai, Daniela Rudeanu
We were also invited at local television TeleU Craiova, where we talked about this amazing contest and its advantages for students. The show was in Romanian and I was accompanied by Andreea Maracine and Diana Bobaru.

For me, the experience was very intense because the first stage lasted 30 hours and I stayed connected for my students because I was receiving lots of messages in which they needed my advice or simply some encouragement. I created a Facebook group on Business Simulations, we also talked there and at some point, when I realized they should be tired, I sent them some links with some happy music, like these ones:

I also attended the contest because I wanted to be able to help them. Being a participant was the only way to understand the contest and help them, offering some suggestions. 
I coordinated 9 teams (40-45 students) and 7 of them qualified for the Professional League. In the second stage, the number of teams will be higher, because news spread rapidly and now, a lot of students in the first year will compete for the Amateur League.
They learn how to manage a business, they have employees and they have to pay them or send them for training, they can invest in marketing campaigns and so on. A lot of practical things, different than just reading/learning theory.

Badges got by the team of Lavinia Balan

Picture from the simulation of Lavinia Balan

Picture from the simulation of Lavinia Balan

But being able to work and compete in teams helped them to communicate better, to make an effort and coordinate their activities in the game, to socialize more and very important and touching for me they became friends of mine. I met them at the end of February but due to this contest, we became friends. They told me I motivated them but they also motivated me and made me appreciate more my profession.

I really appreciate the kind words they expressed for me, in private or even in their articles for the Best Reporter Competition. They are great kids, all of them, smart and passionate. I am very proud of them and I am grateful for the efforts they put in the contest, for their time and energy.
I also thank Adelina Jensen for telling me about this opportunity, Minvydas Latauskas and Danas for preparing an offer for the faculty.

I am proud that from 82 teams in the first stage (400 participants), 33 of them qualified for the second stage and FEAA Craiova (our faculty) has 8 teams (7 teams with students and me). So, we are almost 25% of the finalists. This is an honour for us and for the university we belong to - University of Craiova.