Student wins third place in national business competition

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    Cuong Nguyen used his business strategy to compete with students across the country, and it’s all thanks to advice from his family.

    Nguyen said he came to TCU last semester from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he had begun studying electrical engineering and computer science.

    With a doctor, a professor and two engineers in his family, Nguyen said his family thought it was important for him to learn about business, so he decided to change his majors to finance and business information systems.

    Elaine Cole, public relations and event manager for the Neeley School of Business, said Nguyen was one of six finalists in the 2008 Fall International Business Simulation Challenge.

    Nguyen was introduced to the simulation in a class with business instructor Patrick Nuss. Nuss said the simulation helps students understand how different aspects of business correlate.

    Students run their own electronics company during the simulation, allowing them to face the challenges of research, development, marketing and production.

    “His team had the highest score in any of my classes,” Nuss said.

    Nuss said Nguyen placed third in the competition.

    Nguyen said he entered the challenge to see how good his business strategy was compared to others with the same interest. He was surprised when he passed the first round.

    He said he sat in front of a computer for seven hours to play six rounds.

    “It’s very intensive,” Nguyen said.

    The challenge is hosted by Capsim Management Simulations, Inc., which provides learning opportunities to college students through business simulations.

    During the challenge, Nguyen worked both individually and on a team. He said he led in the first two rounds of the challenge, but came up with a new strategy for the final round.

    During the final round of the simulation, Nguyen said he invested a lot of money to produce two new products. He said he hoped the total quality management approach, which combines organizational functions to meet customer needs, would help the new products come out sooner.

    “I took the risk with that hope, but I was wrong,” Nguyen said.

    Nguyen said he believes the challenge helped him to apply what he has learned in his business classes.

    He said he plans to stay in the U.S. after graduation for a short time, but hopes to eventually return to Vietnam and start his own company.