November 18, 2010
Writer: Writer: Colby Flint

Brigham Young University-Idaho sophomore Robert Woodward won the 2010 Fall Foundation® Business Simulation Challenge last week, after competing against 374 other students from universities across the globe.

"Robert has achieved something amazing," said Mike Whitesides, a business management instructor at BYU-Idaho. "He was competing against some of the best business programs in the world. In fact, I even received a call from Baylor University, who took second in the competition, asking about our program because they were so impressed by his work."

In a press release from Capsim Management Simulations, Inc., May Zelner, the competition coordinator, said Woodward is unique because he will not graduate until spring 2014. Most finalists and winners are usually close to graduating.

Woodward participated in the competition as a way to practice the knowledge he has gained in his Business Fundamentals I class, a 10-credit course that combines accounting, economics and business courses, and allows students to practice through simulation. Whitesides said the integration of business principles in that course has taken learning to a new level, as shown by Woodward's performance.

Although many students use simulation on campus each semester, Woodward was the only person from BYU-Idaho to enter the competition. He and his competitors made business decisions every day for a fictitious business. Capsim's computer program simulated the effects of those decisions to show students the resulting outcomes. The entire competition replicated major business decisions made over an eight-year period.

"The Capsim experience has been enjoyable," Woodward said. "I loved the competition and the ability to see results. It was much more rewarding than a textbook."