Business Capstone Class Simulation

What would be your first impression of a class which starts with the following lines on the syllabus: “In this class, you will be running your own company as part of a student team. You will be stressed, confused, mad and frustrated. You will make mistakes. You will also have a lot of fun”? You would probably feel scared right?

This syllabus excerpt is from the Strategic Management class. If you are a student with a Business major, you will have to take this class during your last semester at Embry-Riddle.

As stated above, we are running our own company as part of a computer simulation. Our class is evenly divided in six groups, so my group and I compete against five other teams. In the simulation, we create and sell a product. We have to manage many aspects of our company, such as research and development, production, marketing, finance and human resources.

We are currently in the second practice round. There are a total of three practice rounds before things get real. Even though it’s only practice, we put effort and hard work because we want to learn as much as we can before the simulation starts and we get graded on performance. Our group meets on a weekly basis to take decisions for the company that will be applied for the following round. Every round corresponds to a new calendar year.

Even though we just started the simulation, I am very excited about it and I hope to finish high in the ranking! I will give an update later on how our company is evolving.

Another Simulation!
I’m doing a simulation in another class this semester! This one is in Aviation Labor Relations where the class is a mix of lectures and the simulation. This simulation is not done on the computer but rather during class time.

Let me briefly explain how it works. All the students enrolled in the course work for an airline named “Blue Star Airlines,” based in Daytona Beach. Students can work in the management team, as a pilot, as a ramp worker or as a mechanic. For the main purpose of the class, there are also other positions related to unions, such as an ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association) representative and a IAM (International Association of Machinists) representative.

I “work” in the management team as Supervisor of Ramp Operations. I selected this position because I have always been interested in airline/airport operations.

There are many issues we have to deal with. In the past week, one of my ramp workers was injured while working on the ramp. This week, there were concerns about pilot duty time FAA violations. Next week, we will have a vote on whether each department of the company wants to join/form a union.

I think simulations are fun and a different way of learning the course material. It’s great to do something else than listening to class lectures for a whole semester. And you, have you taken a class before that involved some sort of simulation?

Until next time!

Nicolas

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