Judges' Testimonials

Barbara Barcon Former Vice President and CFO of Pacific Gas & Electric

Seeing the students see themselves as leaders of the future and putting it all out there to show the judges (their Board of Directors) how passionate they are about their “company,” their team and their knowledge of how they ran the various aspects during the competition is so inspirational. The students end up being so proud of what they’ve learned and accomplished that I wish more students could have the same experience. These students are definitely differentiating themselves, as are the universities that support their participation. The value of the experience is academic, as well as a lesson in leadership and teamwork. The simulation is very comprehensive and gives them a very real-world opportunity to run a company. It’s a lot of work but students are so excited to be a part of it. Especially once is done!!!

Frank McEnulty President & CFO of Meghan Matthews, Inc., Pacific Palisades, CA

I have always thoroughly enjoyed judging the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition. The student groups are always very motivated, work very hard and compete to win. The feedback from the students is also extremely positive with the most common feedback being that this is the first time they have been involved with something in which they are able to use everything they have learned in business school. I am so excited that it will be back live, in person as I feel that creates an even better experience for the students and the judges.

Rhonda Longmore-Grund Chief Executive Officer & Director; Member Board of Directors, Glassbeam, Inc.; Member Board of Directors, MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center; Adjunct Professor, Argyros School of Business & Economics, Chapman University

It was truly an honor to judge at the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition over this past weekend. 23 universities from the US, Europe and Canada came to compete in the final intensives. The competition was incredibly comprehensive for these "all star" student teams who were faced with solving real business problems over the course of a 10 week period. They began their journey developing their Strategic Business Plans for a company, and then over the course of 10 weeks, executed their plans in a simulated environment while facing many real life economic and market challenges. Each team grappled with ~80 different business decisions to make during their remote period around markets, products, pricing, organization, production, inventory, financing, etc. - all of the same issues, decisions and consequences that leaders face day in and day out when managing their companies. The competition culminated this past weekend in Anaheim where student teams participated in the final three day “intensives” where they prepared annual reports and presented to their Boards of Directors - competing not only their overall company performance, but the quality of their plans, documents and presentation skills in a board room setting. It was inspiring to be in the presence of these students who I know will become future leaders - and to serve with such esteemed industry leaders who came from all over the country to give their time to judge and advise these great students. Thank you to Cal State Long Beach for being such committed supporters, hosts and administrators for this program - and to Dr. David Fritzsche for your vision in the development of this simulation and competition 59 years ago. The learnings from this competition place these student competitors well above their peers as they come away with hands on experience balancing the many complex decisions and consequences of running a successful company.

Russ Lesser President, Dive N’ Surf, Inc.; Former Mayor, City of Manhattan Beach, CA

This is my first year judging a live competition after two years on Zoom. It became clear to me that working physically together as a team is much more effective than on zoom, and I believe the students also recognized that, which will help them in the future. I think all the teams, even the ones who did not win anything, left believing that this was a very valuable experience, and that they probably learned more about what it takes to be successful in business than in any other class they have taken.

Robert Baim Capital Projects Engineering Manager, MSTS Design Engineering

Being the ICBSC Judge since 1996, I have been witnessing that all the students participating in the competition gain a great learning experience, while the judges get a positive glimpse into as well as help develop and enhance the skills and potential of the next generation of professionals.

Gabrielle Capolupo Engineering Office of the CTO, Juniper Networks

I have been participating as a judge for this competition since 1995, after having competed as a graduate student in 1994. The encompassing nature of the business simulation is one reason why students (and judges!) learn so much from this experience. The level of detail is outstanding and the experience students receive regarding running a company is extremely valuable. Many students say that this experience was one of the best of the college years, myself included. So much is learned whether teams win trophies or not. In addition, the level of teamwork necessary to compete builds not only lasting relationships, but a foundation for the world's next set of business leaders.

Khodr Saleh Sr. R&D Engineering Manager, Edwards Lifesciences

It was an absolute privilege to serve as a judge in the International Collegiate Business Simulation Competition (ICBSC). I had the opportunity to experience this competition as a student but being a judge in the ICBSC proved to be an incredibly enriching experience. I was thoroughly impressed by the level of sophistication and complexity in the decision-making processes the students employed. From finance and operations to human resources and product development, the participants left no stone unturned in their quest for success. Each team's meticulous attention to detail and strategic thinking demonstrated a profound understanding of the details involved in running a successful business. It was remarkable to see how students utilized their academic foundation to tackle real-world business challenges effectively. Their ability to adapt swiftly to changing market dynamics and make informed decisions on the fly was truly inspiring. The learnings from this competition are immeasurable and it truly differentiate students from their peers.

Jimmy Nguyen Tax Manager, Anabi Oil Corporation

As a former student at CSULB, I had the privilege and opportunity to compete in the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition. Without a shadow of a doubt, this competition was the most important and best experience I had in my educational career. From a student’s perspective, this competition was valuable to my education and development. It forced me to think critically and apply what I learned from the classroom to a unique platform and constantly evolving competition. But the competition was so much more than just the numbers. Non-quantitative aspects, such as teamwork or learning how to write a business proposal or presentation skills, also helped me develop my professional career. After being a former student competitor, I was fortunate to be asked to come back to the competition as a judge. As a judge and having the experience of being a student in this competition, I see how invaluable it is for students to use their skills and what they have learned in the classroom for the first time. The competition makes the students think critically about their team’s goals, strategies, and competitors. Unlike a classroom setting where students will learn, memorize and answer questions on paper, this competition forces a student to think dynamically. Now that I can give back and volunteer my time as a judge, I have a unique understanding of how this competition will not replace the classroom but enhance the student’s learning experience in so many different ways. However, the greatest joy as a judge is seeing the life lessons and memories students will take with them from participating in this competition for the rest of their lives.