Seniors win business simulation challenge

Seniors Frank Zhang and Yoon Ki receive the first place award ($1,500) for the Titan Challenge on Nov. 20

On Wednesday, Nov. 20 senior Frank Zhang and Yoon Ki competed in and won the Junior Achievement Titan Challenge. 

“The challenge is a day-long competition which places high school junior and  senior students in the CEO seat to help increase their understanding of business.” 

“Student teams of 2 have complete control of managing and operating their own virtual business and making key decisions. Companies (teams) are challenged to outperform the competition in profit, sales, and market share with the support of a volunteer mentor.” 

Ki first found out about this challenge from a poster hung up in the school. “ I was looking for ways to entertain myself at school and saw a flyer that advertised the Titan Challenge. I decided I wanted to take up the challenge especially because scholarship money was involved. I knew immediately once I decided to do it that I had to ask Frank Zhang,” Ki said. 

Ki said she thought of Zhang because he is “good at everything,”  and she knew they would win. 

Both Ki and Zhang wanted to participate in this challenge because “they had some interest in business and the scholarship money” they could receive if they won. First place received $1500 and second place received $750 to a college of their choice. 

At the event there were two rounds that determined which business was the most competitive. The first was a preliminary round and the second round was for the scholarship. “The first round was pretty good. The second round was stressful,” Zhang said. “The first round was a tournament style kind of thing where the top two players in the first round move on. Since it was the whole group there wasn’t as many “good players.” But by the second competition it was very stressful because everyone in it was good and knew what they were doing so the score was always super close,” Zhang said. 

The score/performance index in this challenge is determined by how much money a team was making and how the team’ business was doing. 

Ki and Zhang didn’t expect to win since they only prepared the night before, but they came up with a strategy different from all others but the most successful. “We were going to develop the best product and sell at a high price, it was like a high price strategy,” Zhang said. “A lot of teams did a low price strategy where they would not spend as much on research and development and sell their product for a low price and hope to sell a lot of them. Where we tried to sell fewer but higher quality and more expensive products which ended up working well,” he said. 

Both Ki and Zhang gained something more from this challenge than money to a college of their choice. “I learned some interesting things about business through the simulation,” Ki said. “I knew the basic things like supply and demand. It was interesting to see how unit price was affected and net cost. It was also interesting to see how different factors would change the effectiveness of a business.” 

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