Masters in Finance student wins virtual business prize

1718A London Business School MIF student has won a share of $28,000 (£17,500) after coming out on top in a virtual business competition.

The School's Laimonas Staskus, MIFFT2014 was part of a multinational team that won the Global Business Simulation Competition, organised by VirBELA.

Together with Ankita Solanki of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad; Carine Toutet of INSEAD in Singapore; and Wang Lu of the Japanese Waseda University, Laimonas was tasked with building sales, improving profitability and maximising shareholder value over 16-20 virtual quarters.   In addition to scooping up first place, the School’s Stephanie Voigt’s MBA2014 team was awarded second place.

An important feature of the contest was that the students never met each other, instead, using text chat, voiceover IP and 3D visuals of company assets to plan their activities.

All of the teams in the competition were debriefed at the end of each session by a professional facilitator trained in organisational psychology, who helped them with team issues such as conflict management, decision making and cross-cultural collaboration.

Students were able to make the fascinating discovery that they brought their own real world personalities to the virtual space.

Alex Howland, program director and founder of VirBELA said: "VirBELA is about creating opportunities for MBA students to network with colleagues around the world and to practice working on remote multi-national teams.

"While we were excited to see our new technology work well with a global audience, the real accomplishment was watching teams form and grow."