Students Gain Real World Business Experience in the Classroom

Faculty and Students

October 16, 2018

There’s no substitute for real world experience and business students at Granite State College have a unique opportunity to do just that during their capstone courses.

Students must complete a culminating assignment where they’ll apply their learned knowledge, skills, and abilities to a real world problem. Their task? Together they must manage and run a business using an online business strategy simulation called Glo-Bus®.

The Glo-Bus experience is about as real as it gets! Teams of three to four students compete against as many as 2,500 other college and university teams in this competitive simulation where they’re required to run a digital camera business.

Business Acumen at Work

Each week students make 44 business strategy decisions that will forge a long-term direction for their business, including creating different approaches for individual markets. Key decisions include determining which stores will sell their product and what kind of product they’ll manufacture, either low-end mass-market products or high-end specialty cameras. They also make decisions about marketing, finance, cash flow, workforce compensation, plant operations, pricing, and consider corporate social responsibility.

The 44 decisions they make each week are equivalent to one year of business decision-making. In total, that’s “nine” years of managing a business by the end of term. At the end of each week the software scores the teams based on stock price, earnings per share, return on equity, and an overall score.

Gaining a Competitive Edge

Granite State College students routinely do well in Glo-Bus rankings with some teams ranking #1 and many in the top ten. In fact, a recent team earned the #4 slot on a top 50 list for stock price. For return on investment, another recent team landed at 21 on a list of 50. We attribute this excellent work to our adult student population and their dedication to learning, excellent teamwork, and wealth of experience!

The best news is that students are engaged. They’re able to apply concepts learned in their capstone course and previous coursework to real-world scenarios and problems. They develop a business plan, including how to make decisions that will help their team and business be successful. They work together as a team and learn each aspect that goes into making a business function smoothly.

Sharpening Communication Skills

As this is an online course, students need to get creative to communicate virtually, which is excellent experience in working remotely with others and communicating within a team. They have various ways to communicate and make decisions including the Glo-Bus online messaging system, chat sessions and discussion boards within their Moodle course, and through phone conversations, email, and more.

The Glo-Bus simulation provides a concrete way for students to put their learned knowledge to the test. Gaining this depth and breadth of experience is critical and the results speak for themselves: students gain the hands-on experience of managing a competitive business and capstone course faculty can see how much they’ve learned throughout their degree program.

According to Business faculty Michael Russell, “While many of my students have some level of business experience coming into the class, the business strategy simulation and competition allows students to apply their collective knowledge to stay ahead of the competition.”