Business Simulations like MikesBikes provide an excellent environment for students to learn and practice team work. Steven Gain from Smartsims went along to help out at the Quinnipiac University School of Business Team Day event.
Faculty, students spend Saturday on teamwork
Reproduced from the Fall 2009 Business Magazine from Quinnipiac University
The business world is not all fun and games, but it’s a different story when it comes to the activities that were part of Quinnipiac University’s School of Business Team Day event.
In what has become a school tradition, all freshmen enrolled in the Introduction to Business course gather on campus on a September Saturday morning to build bonds and foster the concept of teamwork in an atypical classroom setting. The students are guided not only by faculty members but upperclassmen involved in the student team consultants group and other student clubs.
“In this class, we prepare them for the idea that there are a lot of teams used in business,” said Patrice Luoma, associate professor of management. “They work on a significant project for the entire semester with the same people, so the teambuilding activities on Team Day are to help them get to know each other better.”
“You have to break down these barriers of formality. This is a fine way of doing that,” added Surya Chelikani, a first-year finance professor.
A question-and-answer session with Steven Gain, the senior account manager for Smartsims, highlighted the morning session. Gain’s company produces the “MikesBikes” software that students use to run a simulated bike manufacturing company.
“Every business decision that would be covered in an intro-to-business textbook has an application within the simulation,” said Sean Reid, associate professor of finance. He also serves as the coordinator of freshman business programs.
After lunch, teams of students went to various stations throughout the afternoon to engage in activities such as a trust walk in which students guided blindfolded teammates around Alumni Hall and “human checkers,” a game that taught the value of both communication and the importance of sacrifice for the good of the group.
“As a freshman, I didn’t really realize it, but (Team Day) helps because if you’re in the School of Business, you’re going to be in teams for the next four years, so it definitely gives you a good start,” said Quanita Jones, a junior accounting major who ran the checkers station.
While watching his team compete in human checkers, team leader Andrew Merrick, a junior finance major, thought back to what he learned when he––like Jones––wore the shoes of a freshman.
Merrick said, “I really didn’t realize then that it was beneficial,” he said, “but especially looking at them now, I can see the struggles I went through.”
by Stephen P. Schmidt