L to R: Chris Boggiano, James Hornbuckle, and Oleg Evgrafov

L to R: Chris Boggiano, James Hornbuckle, and Oleg Evgrafov

Virtual Online Business Competition

Camarillo, Calif., May 16, 2016 — A pair of students pursuing their Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at CSU Channel Islands (CI) have scored in the top 100 in a virtual online business competition that involves tens of thousands of MBA students from around the world.

MBA candidates Chris Boggiano and Oleg Evgrafov and their company, “From Zero to Hero” earned top scores in the online competition, called “The Business Strategy Game.”

The game has been played by 53,233 students in 3,049 classes at 602 colleges or universities in 51 countries over the last 12 months alone.

According to their instructor, Business Lecturer James Hornbuckle, PhD., the competition is a lot more than just a game — it’s a rehearsal for running a global business.

“The Business Strategy Game is one of the most difficult and demanding online simulations in graduate business programs today,” Hornbuckle said. “I’m very proud of the performances of Oleg and Cris and all my students for their fine performances this past semester. Oleg and Cris are a credit to themselves and to this fine University we have here at CI.”

All the students in Hornbuckle’s graduate class, “Competing in the Global Environment,” took part in the online game for 10 weeks this semester with three teams scoring in the top 100 globally. Of those three “From Zero to Hero” scored the highest of the three, making them the Student Champions of the class.

The other two teams who earned Global Top 100 Rankings were “Go Big or Go Home,” co-managers Tim Davis and Chris Denove; and “Duck Dominion,” co-managers Katherine Armstrong and Andrew Conley.

The competition measures a lot of different areas. “From Zero to Hero” earned their Global Top 100 Ranking in Earnings per Share, Return on Average Equity and Stock Price Worldwide.

Essentially, each team manages a virtual shoe company, figuring out how much inventory they need; where to place factories; how to pay shareholders and grow the business, to name just a fraction of what the teams manage.

Evgrafov, 29, said he and Boggiano tried to be unpredictable, just like the real world of business. They wanted to leave the other teams guessing.

One of their best moves, Evgrafov said, was when other gamers began selling off their virtual shoe manufacturers in the U.S. in seek of lower manufacturing prices in other countries.

“They sold their North American capacity because it was too expensive to run,” Evgrafov said. “So we purchased all the capacity because we believe in the American worker.”

It was a shrewd move that helped drive up their profits.

They also received points for social responsibility, so if a company wanted to use recycled wood for example, their product may be more expensive to manufacture, but they won points for green operations.

Both students said the exercise was valuable as they prepare to enter the world of business. Boggiano wants to go into sports management and Evgrafov plans a career in executive management.

“I’m actually doing my resume right now and putting down this experience,” said Boggiano, who graduates in a week.

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands 
(CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.