Entrepreneurship Archives

Get Students Tech-Savvy with Business Simulations

Get Tech-Ready to Take Over Silicon Valley with Business Simulations

Silicon Valley is ruled by millennials who rushed in to claim one of the many tech jobs available. This campus-inspired atmosphere is known for its culture of working hard and long hours, but it’s also the birthplace of innovative ideas that have transformed the way humans experience the world. So for many students it’s the dream place to work!

However, entering Silicon Valley requires more than good grades and the right attitude. Those who dream of landing a job in this market know that previous experience is essential to scoring big. Engaging in business simulations can help future movers and shakers experience the industry and get tech-ready for the road ahead.

The Job Market in Silicon Valley

The technology job market is becoming more and more competitive, and it’s no different in Silicon Valley. There is a huge demand for tech-savvy workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary in the computer science field is $81,430. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for project managers in Silicon Valley is $110,197, and the average Bay Area salaries for experienced data scientists and engineers are $162,000 and $189,000 respectively. Sounds good, right?

LinkedIn’s Workforce Report for June found that Americans agree. The report shows that of the 20 largest US metropolitan areas, Silicon Valley is the 12th most attractive place for jobs. Unsurprisingly, interviews are lengthy and difficult. A standard interview process will begin with an email, followed by a phone screening and then an on-site meeting. It’s important for applicants to be prepared, confident and present a fresh perspective in these interviews.

How Do Business Simulations Help?

Business simulation games allow students to manage their own virtual business, so they experience what it’s like to run a simulated company. Start-ups are popular in Silicon Valley, and many of them succeed. Having a simulated business provides a risk free learning opportunity. Bridging practice and theory in a low-risk environment (Gosen & Washbush, 2004). Simulated games teach real-life details in a flexible setting.

Students often find it hard to land a job after graduating, because they never learned how to bridge the concepts taught in class with real-life experiences. Simulated games are more engaging and memorable than traditional teaching methods, so students retain information better and have an advantage over others. Business simulations have also been proven to improve critical thinking skills (Lovelace, Eggers & Dyck, 2016).

Make an Impact with Business Simulations

If you’re looking to give your students a leg-up in the competitive job market, business simulations can help. Humans learn best by doing, reflecting and then doing it again, and that’s what business simulations are all about; action-oriented and reflective learning.

It’s not impossible to become a noticed member of the group, but it takes a special kind of education and a unique way of working to become a leader in this age of technology. At Smartsims, we offer a Foundations of Business Game, an advanced Business Strategy Game, a Marketing Simulation Game and an Advertising Simulation Game; all designed to give students real-world skills and experience, giving them the edge in the today’s competitive job market.

Amar Vark UoA 40 under 40

MikesBikes Student Makes the “40 Under 40” List

Delivering your best at every turn is difficult and even exhausting, but that is what appears to differentiate successful folks from the unsuccessful ones.

-Amar Virk

The 40 under 40 list recognizes graduates who are making a significant contribution to their field and community. We are proud to announce that MikesBikes student, Amar Virk, has made the list!

Amar is currently working for UberEats but his business journey began at the University of Auckland. Amar was an electrical engineering major but decided to take some business papers in his third year. This was where he happened across the Management in Action course taught by Professor Darl Kolb. At the center of this award-wining course is the MikesBikes Strategic Management Simulation.

Through the simulation and the unique experiential learning activities developed by Professor Kolb, Amar had the opportunity to experience what it was like to run his own company.

What I came to realize is that engineering is one thing, but there’s a whole universe that supports it. I came to appreciate how wonderfully complex a business really is. We could always invest more in R&D to make a better bike (which is how the engineer in me wanted to think), but that wasn’t enough. The bike had to be priced correctly, manufactured at scale, marketed correctly and only have limited pool of capital to deploy against all of the above.”

Graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering in 2008, Amar’s experience at the Business School was instrumental in deciding to enroll in an MBA at Cornell University. While his next steps were working at Parthenon-EY and Symphony Commerce, an opportunity presented itself in 2016 to work for UberEats. Amar admits it was a steep learning curve to begin with but also a valuable lesson in adapting to a very dynamic business model.

Read more of Amar’s story here.

Hear from Professor Kolb about his award-winning courses using our MikesBikes Business Simulation:

Adapted from an article written and originally published by The University of Auckland.