Monthly Archives: May 2017

Save Money With Simulations

How Business Course Instructors Can Help Students Avoid Costly Internships With Simulations

As tuition prices in the US continue to rise, and the job market in New York and nationwide becomes more competitive, the challenge is for recent graduates to gain real-world experience without taking on unpaid internships and more debt.

In today’s work climate, graduating students face a catch-22; they need job experience in order to be hired, but they need to be hired in order to get job experience. Many students turn to internships as a way around this conundrum. But internships can be a costly undertaking. Many of them are unpaid, and the ones that are paid are usually low salary positions. To top it all off, there is no guarantee of a job at the end. A 2014 article in Forbes magazine provides some depressing statistics about the state of internships in the United States:

  • Upwards of 1.5 million internships are filled in the United States each year, half of which are unpaid (Ross Perlin, Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy).
  • Only 63 percent of graduating students who held a paid internship received a job offer by graduation (NACE, 2013).
  • A paltry 37 percent of students who took on an unpaid internship received a job offer, only slightly higher than those who had no internship at all (NACE, 2013).

Unpaid internships are of particular concern in the United States. Most graduating students leave university with thousands of dollars of debt, so the prospect of having to take on a full-time unpaid position is not feasible. Moreover, many unpaid internships are in breach of the Fair Labor Standards Act. In light of all these concerns, the U.S. federal government has been cracking down on unpaid internships. Very soon, these types of internships may be a thing of the past.

So if internships aren’t a realistic or fair option for many graduating students, what is an alternative way for students to gain real-world experience? The answer is business simulations.

Business Simulations Deliver Real-World Skills

Skills increasingly trump tenure in the workforce. Therefore, ensuring your students are armed with the latest knowledge and competencies is critical for staying competitive. Today’s students need to understand complex problems, experience working in teams of people with diverse opinions and learn how to come to a decision in the face of many competing options. In the past, many students have taken on internships to develop these skills. However, business simulations can provide this same practice in a low-risk, highly engaging environment, during the education phase itself.

Smartsims has a range of business simulation games that will challenge your students with issues from the real world. These business simulations provide an interactive learning experience that requires participants to apply what they have learned in a robust, virtual business-like environment. Participants build relevant skills, improve conceptual knowledge and gain a better appreciation of business strategy and of the systems of business management.

Business Simulations Deliver Active Learning

Simulations perform the very important role of bridging theory and real-life experience through active learning, considered to be a crucial technique to engage students by Cornell University Center for Teaching Excellence. They provide participants with the opportunity to make relevant decisions in a competitive marketplace so that they can see the immediate effect on business performance. And perhaps most importantly, they can save students time and money by providing the same benefits as an internship without the costs.

Other Benefits of Business Simulations

Simulations create more engaged learners: The high level of interaction makes learning fun, increases retention, solidifies learning and builds skills. Studies have shown that business simulations stimulate enjoyable learning (Fripp, 1997).

Simulations improve knowledge retention: By immediately applying new concepts, participants learn by doing. This approach produces significantly greater learning gains in both declarative and procedural knowledge than classroom learning alone (Sitzmann et al., 2006).

Simulations provide risk-free learning: More than just a business strategy game, a simulation recreates real world experience or tasks so that learners can practice without fear of major repercussions. It bridges practice and theory in a low-risk environment (Gosen & Washbush, 2004).

Simulations prepare learners for the real world: Users are able to practice different techniques so that they are better prepared when they encounter those or similar conditions in the workforce. This type of practical experience reduces the potential ‘shock’ of recent graduates entering their first job in their field of study (Kramer, 1974).

Read more about the benefits of business simulations or watch the video below:


how to create a great company name image

How to Create the Best Company Name for your Business

Naming your company is one of the most important decisions when establishing a new business. It forms the foundation of your company’s brand and is key to a lasting first impression. However, coming up a name for your business is often as challenging as it is important.

So what are the best ways to pick a creative, meaningful or impacting company name?

Here are the Top 5 Methods for Creating the Perfect Name for Your Business:

How to Name Your Company - Personal Identity

Many company names are inspired by the founder’s own name. For example Bayer (Friedrich Bayer was the founder of the company), Boeing (after William E Boeing) and John Deere.

An amalgamation or acronym of the founder’s names could be used. Ben & Jerry’s for example (Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are the founders of this global ice cream empire), 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co) and DHL (Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom and Robert Lynn).

Alternatively, an acronym which combines your name with your location. For example, DKNY (Donna Karan, New York) or IKEA (from the founder’s name, Ingvar Kamprad, and his hometown, Elmtaryd Agunnaryd).

Naming Your Company - Using Language

Take a word that’s symbolic for your company and invent a new word through a mash-up, alternate spelling or misspelling. This can give your company an internationally unique identity.

Mozilla, the internet browser, is a word mash-up, being Mozaic and Godzilla. Reebok is an alternate spelling of “rhebok”, the African antelope. Famous misspellings are Flickr and Tumblr, where the founders simply dropped the last vowel of the word.

Using a foreign word can also provide a unique flavor outside of the country of origin. For example, Acer is the Latin word for “sharp and able”.

Naming Your Company - Use of Humor

If you wish to be bold you can use humor to create an immediate reaction from consumers. A successful funny company name will provide a lasting first impression and encourage customers to tell their friends about you.

For example, in the highly competitive frozen yogurt market, the company name Spoon Me, was quirky and funny enough to catch people’s attention that consumers now proudly don the company’s t-shirts, bumper stickers and other merchandise.

Also, names that are a play-on-words or that utilize puns can be a fun way for a company to create its own distinct image. Everyone remembers the coffee shop in the New York-based sitcom Friends, Central Perk. And our local seafood restaurant is named The Codfather.

Naming Your Company - Making it Descriptive

Descriptive business names are upfront about the kind of products and services they offer. Their strength is they immediately communicate a key message describing what your company offers. This could be your company’s story, an inherent company value or a particular quality linked to your products.

For example, Freeset (a fair trade business whose goal to is set locals free from slavery and poverty), Best Buy and Staples.

More creative options are Greyhound (to convey speed), the Ford Mustang (evokes the emotion of power and freedom) and Nike (the winged goddess of victory).

Alternatively, you can combine two descriptive words to create a new meaningful word. For example Smartsims (smart & business simulations), Evernote (forever & note) and Groupon (group & coupon).

Naming Your Company - Keep it Simple

Sometimes the best company names come from simple ideas and concepts.

These include choosing a word from the dictionary (like Twitter), picking an inanimate object (Steve Jobs chose Apple for its friendly appeal and common usage) or even a geographical location (like Amazon or Fuji).

Alternatively, take a word that has special meaning for your business, but just use a portion of the word, like Cisco (from San Francisco where the company was founded).

Do you know of a Clever, Unique or Funny Company Name?

Have you come across a particularly meaningful, creative or humorous company name? This article is now posted on our Facebook page. Click on the link below and comment to share these with us:

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Business Simulations: Real-World Experience for Tomorrow’s Professionals

To truly grasp the impact strategy and management decision-making have on business outcomes, students need real world experience. Smartsims business simulations encourage student engagement and accelerate learning by giving students their own business experience.
Continue reading Business Simulations: Real-World Experience for Tomorrow’s Professionals