38th OLAB Program Ends with a Bang• July 17, 2010
The 38th edition of the Opportunities to Learn About Business program at Wabash College came to a celebratory conclusion on Saturday with the presentation of awards at the Commencement Ceremony. See pictures from the ceremony here.
The 45 students from 11 states and Korea spent the last week learning all aspects of business, and eventually broke up into nine teams competing in the ultra-crowded cell phone market. The students made dozens of key decisions related to finance and production throughout the week, and layered in a thorough marketing strategy and advertising campaign as the week drew to a close.
Taking top honors as the Best Managed Firm was the quintet of Robbie Covington, Nicole Feinberg, Shravani Merugureddy, Evan Rhea, and Greg Timm, who received the Best Managed Firm award for their all-around achievement in the business simulation game.
“It was a very good year in terms of the finances,” said Game Master Greg Shaheen, who in his non-OLAB time is the senior vice president for men’s basketball operations at the NCAA. “The teams kept prices relatively high throughout the week, which made for an interesting simulation.”
It wasn't all work and no play for the Labbies in this year's program. In between lectures, workshops, and the simulation, counselors planned a range of activities — from a pool party to a tie dye party.
The counseling staff selected Ervin Meneses as “Mr. Labbie” and Nicole Feinberg and Emma Hatcher as “Ms. Labbies” for their contributions to making the week successful and fun.
The team of Ben Finley, Adam Krueger, Steven Wang, Brandon Wright, and Alice Zhang captured the Tobey Award for the best all-around advertising campaign for their innovative green cell phone with its celebrity spokesman Brad Pitt.
Feinberg and Wang received the Bingo Marketing Awards for the presentations they gave Thursday morning to unfold their teams marketing strategies.
“Overall, I was exceptionally pleased with the marketing presentations and the advertising campaigns,” said OLAB Director Jim Amidon. “The judges thought the quality of the presentations and campaigns was improved over recent years, and that the students really understood the power of a carefully targeted market and well-conceived ad campaign.”
The students selected David Gunderman to give the Commencement Address Saturday afternoon, and the Zionsville native captured the essence of the week — of somewhat boring lectures, active workshops, and exciting activities.
Rachel Robin (right) was awarded for giving the Best Introductory Speech at this year’s OLAB program, while Hannah Springer won the coveted Bull Thrower Award for giving the best PR-heavy Stockholder’s Speech.
In addition to the outstanding OLAB faculty — Economics Professor Bert Barreto, Game Master Shaheen, Rhetoric Professor Todd McDorman, Economics Professor Frank Howland, and Amidon, who teaches marketing and advertising — the Labbies also welcomed two guest speakers.
Chris Cotterill, an OLAB alumnus who is the Chief of Staff for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard led a Wednesday night workshop on ethics in business.
On Friday night, JoAn Scott, an executive at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, led a workshop on how the shoe and apparel giant handles its marketing and advertising strategies. Scott oversees Nike’s relationships with major high school athletic associations, major conferences, and the International Olympic Committee.
The students also engaged in a difficult round of labor negotiations on Wednesday with a skilled team of Wabash alumni and other lawyers, union negotiators, and bankers. See pictures of the negotiations here.
The 38th Annual Opportunities to Learn About Business program at Wabash was funded by the John B. Goodrich Charitable Trust, the D.J. Angus-Scientech Educational Foundation, The Glick Family Foundation, the Carmel Rotary Club, Indiana Sports Corporation and NCAA, the Kiwanis Club of Crawfordsville, Nucor Steel, and Wabash College.
All 45 students who participated received full scholarships to attend the program.