MIT Sloan's 8th Annual Operations Simulation Competition (OpsSimCom) closed on April 15, 2012. All the 6 teams of Tsinghua-MIT International MBA students from the School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, finished in the top half of 149 teams from the top business schools who participated in the competition. The team instructed by Professor David Robb was ranked the 12th in the competition. Its team members were SHI Yanting (Crystal), Poon Yeuk Lan (Cathy), LU Shuye (Aaron), and XIAO Qing (Shawn).
The OpsSimCom started in 2005. Teams from the School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, have participated since 2008, and have been improving continuously. The OpsSimCom is an online competition which simulates the complicated business environment. Teams participated have 72 hours and limited resources to run the factory as profitable as they can.
All the participants from Tsinghua University were MBA students from the School of Economics and Management. They learned the basic principles from the Operation Management course (OM), tried the similar but easier game in the OM classes and received some basic ideas from the of the former participators. Encouraged by David Robb, the Professor of the OM course, they got involved in the competition with great enthusiasm.
David Robb, the competition supervisor, underlined the importance and the great influence of the competition. As a global competition with the top business schools and, very likely, the top students involved, the students may learn how well their knowledge and capability are related to the best in the world.
The team ranked 12th in the competition was comprised of four members from different backgrounds: marketing, human resource, accounting, and engineering. The sound knowledge base, diversified backgrounds, teamwork and effective communication were the decisive factors of their excellent performance. During the 72 hours' competition, they gradually got familiar with the business model, ran the trial and error repeatedly, and made their decision with prudence. Although they had once been ranked backward during the process, the right decision led to a desirable outcome. Despite all the hardship they had experienced, they enjoyed the competition and have learned tremendously.
Although the ranking was delightful, the team members were not satisfied with their achievement. Rather, they believed that they could do a better job. Compared to the teams with higher rankings, they had wasted a lot of time in getting familiar with the model. If there can be more experience passed from one year to another, the teams would make greater progress in the future, as one of the team member stated.
David Robb, the competition supervisor, noted that students would gain a significant advantage in the competition if they have learned the course of Manufacture Management. However, in the absence of the course, the performance of the students revealed their unusual gifts and capability.
The participants of the competition regard it as a beneficial experience. They suggest that the school could sponsor more teams taking part in the competition; even the master students can be included. Professor David Robb hoped that more students could be involved in the competition and learn from competing with the best students from the best business school of the globe.
The author is an IMBA Program Student Assistant of Tsinghua University.
This article reflects the views of the author, not necessarily those of China.org.cn.