Thursday, December 7, 2017
First-year student Anders Harth of Binghamton, NY recently earned placement in the MikesBikes Intro Hall of Fame. MikesBikes Intro is an interactive business simulation application specifically designed for use in foundation-level coursework, used at the College since 2000.
MikesBikes Intro teaches users key business skills by running a small bicycle manufacturer. Participants make progressively more difficult decisions throughout the course of the “game,” allowing them to build confidence as they run their own business.
This semester, Harth’s company earned a net profit of more than $14 million, with a shareholder value of $204.54. These results placed him 15th on the all-time worldwide list, earning him a spot in the MikesBikes Intro Hall of Fame (2014 onwards).
According to Smartisms, Inc., creators of MikesBikes Intro, 32,000 students have used the simulation since 2014.
Students start the simulation by determining the price and marketing mix for a mountain bike, and with each subsequent decision round, they address new business concerns such as forecasting and distribution, operations and finance, product development, and developing emerging markets.
Students analyze more than 50 reports during more than eight rounds of play in order to make decisions to maximize profit and shareholder value. Understanding how a spreadsheet works, and the ability to interpret different reports and financial statements (such as income, balance sheet, and cash flow), are essential skills to succeeding in business and the simulation.
Already motivated by a passion for finance, Harth quickly mastered these and other advanced business skills.
“I was interested in understanding what various aspects of a business are beneficial to profits as well as shareholder value,” he said. “My interests helped me go into this simulation with both ambition and curiosity.”
The simulation not only proved Harth had a knack for business, but opened his eyes to other realities of the field.
“MikesBikes Intro gave me a better understanding of how crucial data is within business,” he said. “For example, determining what the most effective retail price for your consumer base is a very real concept and was crucial for the simulation. I had to find prices that attracted consumers but in the most profitable way.”
Visiting Assistant Professor of Business Administration Scott Schwartz has been using the simulation to help teach his “Introduction to Business” class since spring 2016.
“Most students find MikesBikes Intro useful because it is learning the material by being an active participant versus a passive one,” he said.
Not surprisingly, Harth sees himself going into finance after graduation.
“In the future I plan on starting my own hedge fund or becoming a financial advisor,” he said. “I am very interested in the stock market and I want to turn that into a lucrative career. I have been trading for about a year now and have gotten very attached to the market.”
For more information on the MikesBikes Intro Hall of Fame, visit its website.
Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,200 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick’s expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.
Contact: David Lubell