The Eberly College of Business and Information Technology was proud to host the Junior Achievement Titan Competition on March 11, 2010. The competition consisted of twenty-eight teams of three students from high schools in Indiana, Somerset, and Cambria counties.
Competing for the title of “Titans of Business,” the groups practiced and strategized within their teams prior to the competition. They then took that preparation and applied it to their virtual business. This unique competition offered high school students the opportunity to experience the ups and downs of running a business. Utilizing Junior Achievement’s own business simulation program, JA Titan, the teams were asked to manufacture and promote a futuristic, fictional product known as a Holo-Generator, a device about the size of a portable CD player that is capable of generating 3-D images in the palm of your hand.
As CEOs for the day, these budding entrepreneurs had to handle key decisions on pricing, production, marketing, research and development, and even charitable giving. Working in groups of three, the decisions they made determined how well their company did within its industry. By running industry reports throughout the competition, students were able to check their Performance Index (PI), and gauge themselves against the other teams.
Junior Achievement, which emphasizes an engaging and hands-on approach to learning, matched students with business consultants—corporate volunteers—whose job was to reinforce the concepts and strategies the students had learned before the competition. Business consultants were challenged to use their working knowledge and skills if “consulted” by the student CEOs they were matched with during the competition. Among the consultants were IUP’s own Dr. Joette Wisnieski, a professor in the Management Department, and Jane Gardner, the director of Business Development and Training Services.
The competition was an overwhelming success. The students were engaged, and with the help of the business consultants, three teams won.
Representing Greater Johnstown High School were Jordan Ruiz, Andrew Wilcox, and Nelson Gosnell. They took first place, the title of Titans of Business, and each received a netbook computer.
In second place was a team from Richland High School, with students Keith Morgart, Josh Roberson, and Jordan Polasko. Each of the second-place students received an iPod touch.
Third place, with a prize of an mp3 player and a gift card to Subway, was won by M.J. Knapp, Kenny Gibbons, and Emily Gibbons of Shade High School.
By participating in the JA Competition, the students became well equipped with the skills they will need to make headway in the corporate world.