Undergraduate business students from Cal State San Bernardino’s Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration competed for the first time at the graduate level and was the runner up team for best overall performance in the 56th International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC), which went virtual for the first time this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“If this was a real company, this would be one of the best fundamental investments an investor could make,” said finance professor Jose Navarrete, a former student competitor and co-advisor with management professor William Donohoo, who has taken multiple teams annually for the past 10 years. “By the end of the competition, our team had the soundest financials, with the highest stock price and best ratios.” 

For the past 56 years, Cal State Long Beach has been hosting this three-month competition, which incorporates simulated businesses operating in the economies of two countries enabling advanced business students to become strategic managers and integrate and apply theories from their business courses. Students compete in undergraduate and MBA “worlds,” but this year CSUSB students competed in the graduate level against the likes of UC Riverside, CSULB and Idaho State University. The competition culminated in a three-day intensive phase usually held at the DoubleTree in Anaheim, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the intensive phase was held via Zoom. 

To be successful, students have to be highly analytical and adaptable. They are required to read financial statements throughout the competition and make adjustments to their decisions based on results from previous decisions. Each team member plays a different, but vital role in the competition. Key roles include operations, marketing, and finance. They must also be able to work well together to synchronize decisions.

The CSUSB team included:  

  • CEO Xuanyu (Sam) Liu - finance
  • CFO Luchuan Cui - finance
  • CMO Thi Hong Loi Tran - international business
  • COO Danielle Wyatt - management

Shortly after the competition, students took to social media, expressing their team pride and impact of the experience. 

“We all believe that this is a glorious defeat,” said Sam Liu.” This wonderful experience will lead us forward to our future career life.”