Wharton | Mr. Digi-Transformer
GMAT 680, GPA 4
Stanford GSB | Ms. 2+2 Tech Girl
GRE 333, GPA 3.95
Stanford GSB | Ms. Healthcare Operations To General Management
GRE 700, GPA 7.3
Chicago Booth | Ms. CS Engineer To Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.31
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Engineer In The Military
GRE 310, GPA 3.9
Ross | Mr. Automotive Compliance Professional
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Mr. Oil & Gas Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 6.85/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seeking Fellow Program
GMAT 760, GPA 3
Wharton | Mr. Real Estate Investor
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Chef Instructor
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Climate
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. New England Hopeful
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Bangladeshi Data Scientist
GMAT 760, GPA 3.33
Harvard | Mr. Military Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 3.9
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Chicago Booth | Mr. Private Equity To Ed-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Electric Vehicles Product Strategist
GRE 331, GPA 3.8
Columbia | Mr. BB Trading M/O To Hedge Fund
GMAT 710, GPA 3.23
Columbia | Mr. Old Indian Engineer
GRE 333, GPA 67%
Harvard | Mr. Athlete Turned MBB Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Ross | Mr. Civil Rights Lawyer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT N/A, GPA 7.08
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Trucking
GMAT 640, GPA 3.82
Ross | Mr. Low GRE Not-For-Profit
GRE 316, GPA 74.04% First Division (No GPA)
Harvard | Mr. Marine Pilot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.98

Virtual MBAs Compete For Cash

VirBELA Global Business Simulation Competition pits virtual teams of MBAs against one another for non-virtual cash

VirBELA Global Business Simulation Competition pits virtual teams of MBAs against one another for non-virtual cash

How’s this for an outlandish scenario? Four MBAs who’ve never met in person walk into a virtual business contest … and walk out with $28,000 in decidedly non-virtual cash.

Today, VirBELA, announced the winners of its Global Business Simulation Competition. The victorious teammates: Ankita Solanki of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad; Carine Toutet of INSEAD-Singapore; Laimona Staskus of London Business School; and Wang Lu of Waseda University.

The competition, which ended on Oct. 31, required eight multinational teams to manage their very own virtual automobile companies. The goals were pretty standard: ramp up sales, boost profitability, and maximize shareholder value over 16 to 20 quarters. Still, the setting was far from traditional—though VirBELA is betting that it’ll be the norm one day. The participants never interacted with each other outside of the competition’s virtual world; using customizable avatars, they communicated through a combination of text chatting, VoIP (i.e. talking over the Internet instead of over the phone), and visuals of company assets.

The challenge of virtual communication was compounded by cross-cultural differences. “It was an exciting process to first get to know people on your team just through voice, connect with everyone and understand them,” says Suket Murarka, an Indian student whose team finished second. “At first this was difficult, but as time progressed, it became natural to us. We all realized that one does not need to be physically present to collaborate across geographies.”

Fortunately for the participants, they received feedback throughout the competition. After each session, facilitators trained in organizational psychology debriefed the teams on collaboration, conflict resolution, and decision-making—crucial skills both online and offline.

As business schools have become more global, they have warmed up to virtual environments such as VirBELA’s, says Management Education for Tomorrow Fund Director Allen Brandt. The fund, a creation of the Graduate Management Admission Council, invests in philanthropic initiatives that advance business education. “VirBELA is ideal for providing a platform for experiential learning and collaboration around the world,” Brandt says. “It can bring together students and faculty from around the world for classes, virtual events, and groups.”

While the winners undoubtedly have a few things to say about the future of business school, right now, they have more pressing matters to consider: what to do with $7,000 each (after the exchange rate).

DON’T MISS: MIT Pioneers the Exec Ed Classroom of the Future or MBA Avatars To Compete In Contest