Gordon Business Club Places Second in International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition

By Madison Vavala ’25

Last month five students from the Gordon College Business Club made history at the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition (ICBSC) in Los Angeles, CA. The first-ever team from Gordon to participate—and the first from a Christian college in the competition’s 59-year history—placed in all three award categories. They received second place overall, first place for best presentation and second place for best documents. 

Gordon’s team was mentored by two advisors, Professor Greg Smith (business and marketing) and Career and Connection Institute leader Carissa Church. “This team was exceptional in terms of preparation, individual skills and ability to work together as a team. I was not surprised when one of the judges said that their presentation was one of the best he had seen in nine years of judging,” said Smith.

ICBSC is an annual business strategy competition that brings together university teams from around the world to manage simulated companies. Throughout the semester teams compete against each other on financial and strategic measures by making weekly “quarterly” decisions in marketing, finance and operations, as well as submitting annual reports and making strategic business presentations. 

The competition has both undergraduate and MBA categories, and students are judged by a panel of distinguished judges who act as a simulated board of directors for each company. The competition has two phases: a remote phase and an intensive phase. The remote phase begins in January and culminates in the intensive phase in April, where students make frequent decisions and present their strategy and outcomes to judges acting as a board of directors. 

“The biggest takeaway from participating in ICBSC was learning the connections among the different departments within the business world. All the concepts we learned in class were finally connected, and I had a stronger desire to learn after coming back from the trip,” said Business Club and competition team member Byeongjun (Jun) Jeong ’23.

Schools from all over the world send teams to compete in this competition annually, and the Gordon College Business Club gained respect within this group through their strong showing. The participating students grew their skills in business analytics, teamwork, leadership, networking and time-management.

Pictured above (left to right): Daniel Fagerland ’24, Jun Jeong ’23, Michael Solt (Dean of the College of Business and Professor of Finance at California State University, Long Beach), Eric Lee ’23, Madison Vavala ’25 and Mikayla Weaver ’23.