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Warwick Bears scoop £3,000 in Student Business Competition

The Warwick Bears were announced UK champions of the Global Management Challenge last week’s National Final hosted by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, at its London headquarters.

Student teams have been competing since October 2007, with over 1,000 students taking part in the competition. The Global Management Challenge (GMC) is a strategic online business game, where student teams run a virtual company. Students submit decisions relating to key areas of their business – such as HR, finance and marketing.

This information is then fed into a sophisticated simulator, determining which teams progress to the next round.  The eight teams represented at the National Final were from the University of Warwick, the University of Manchester, Nottingham Trent University, and the University of St Andrews.

At the National Final, the teams played the game ‘live’, submitting five decisions - representing a year-and-a-quarter of their business - throughout the day. The final set of data was analysed at the end of the day, with University of Warwick team the Warwick Bears excelling to the top of the league with a share price of 1.099 on the virtual stock exchange. 

The winning teams were announced by Daniel Cazeaux, Director within Audit at KPMG, with the team in first place receiving a specially commissioned trophy plus £3,000 prize money. Richard Hearn, Head of Marketing at CIMA, presented joint second place to JM Alpha and The Wintellects, also from the University of Warwick. The Warwick Bears will now play against 27 other countries at the International Final in Bucharest, Romania on 15-16 April. The global winner will be crowned Best Virtual Business Manager in the World.

After receiving their award, the Warwick Bears said:

‘Having realised our potential while applying book knowledge to real life business scenarios, the challenge has instilled in us a feeling of self-belief’.

  • The Skills Agenda

The Global Management Challenge is a significant initiative to address the soft-skills shortage employers are experiencing, such as risk taking and commercial awareness.

Employers have been quick to recognise the GMC as a new way of interacting with students. Key graduate recruiters including Watson Wyatt, KPMG and RM have mentored teams through the competition. 

Nilesh Dosa from KPMG commented: “Mentoring the Invulnerable team (from the University of Warwick) all the way to the final has been an incredibly fulfilling and beneficial experience. Using skills and competencies developed in the fast world of M&A to advise and coach a team of undergraduates has been an interesting challenge. I am glad that KPMG encouraged and supported my involvement."

Sean Russell, Director of Student Development and Enterprise at the University of Warwick, was delighted that a team from the university had reached the finals in Bucharest: “The initiative and enterprise shown by these students by entering the competition and following it thorough to the final has been remarkable. They have demonstrated the initiative and tenacity highly sought after by all employers. It’s also a testament to their ability to juggle the competing demands of this high-flying event with the requirements of their studies.’"

Pawel Kuznicki, team Captain of The Canongate from the University of St Andrews said: ‘By taking part in the Global Management Challenge we have learnt crucial skills: teamwork (you cannot run a company on your own!), strategic thinking, and how to analyse complex financial data. It was an extraordinary experience.’