Before starting the program, each student develops a professional statement containing a personal biography, a statement of career interests and information on their goals for the simulation. This exercise helps students think through their career goals and how the simulation will develop their professional education. It provides a benchmark for evaluating student progress during the program.
Students are responsible for the simulation from the start, and must construct their teams in a series of selection rounds. While the students make the choices as to who will be in each team, the selection rounds are designed so that each team will end up with a mix of students from different schools/cultures, majors, functional interests, and genders. This process ensures a heterogeneous group with the strengths and difficulties inherent in any diverse group.
Active decision making:
The groups then embark on developing their businesses over eight simulated financial quarters. As the simulation progresses, students must address increasingly complex issues involving all aspects of running a business, including supply chain management, evolving markets and expansion, the use of financial leverage, and managing exchange rates. Students must also deal with the consequences of their decisions: a bad decision in one quarter will affect them in the next quarter!
Intercultural problem solving:
Program faculty helps the students use intercultural tools to solve problems, and integrate cultural differences for maximum performance.
Learning through evaluation
Students receive continuous feedback on their decisions and teamwork through quantitative performance evaluations. These include their performance in the simulations, peer evaluations by team members, and two team presentations to the board of directors. Each team receives a written evaluation of its business plan, group dynamic and presentation skills.
Putting theory into practice
Visits to headquarters of Austin-based companies like Dell Computers and Whole Foods Market offer students an opportunity to compare real-world company operations to questions and challenges encountered in the simulation. Guest speakers from top McCombs faculty and area companies increase diversity in the academic offerings, and Austin residents and businesspeople serve as interviewees to facilitate student research on U.S. culture.
Students will enjoy various planned trips throughout the region to foster social integration and enhance their understanding of local culture.
Diversity of cultures
UT Austin students studying business, engineering, communications or international relations fields are enthusiastically invited to participate.
The program has traditionally included students from over 10 top-ranked business schools across the world:
- Fudan University, China
- Fundação Getulio Vargas – EAESP, Brazil
- Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico
- National University of Singapore, Singapore
- Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
- Thammasat University, Thailand
- The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R.
- University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic
- Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Austria