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WIU MBA graduate students from left to right: Matthew Vermeere; Joshua Harrington; Jerry Gowey and Anna Powers.
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WIU Supply Chain Management Graduate Students Advance to Regional Finals in International Competition

November 10, 2017

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - - Western Illinois University Master of Business Administration graduate students finished in the top 10 of the international October qualification phase, and will advance to the regional finals, of The Fresh Connection Global Student Challenge competition.

The Global Student Challenge is an international student competition with the goal of giving students the chance to experience the life of a corporate executive and run their own company. Students from business schools and universities around the world compete against each other in a business simulation game, which sets the goal of returning a fictional ailing juice manufacturing company, The Fresh Connection, to profitability and positive return on investment (ROI).

The four-person WIU team finished with a 20 percent ROI, one of the highest scores for the fourth round and in the competition overall. WIU graduate students Matthew Vermeere (Rock Island, IL); Joshua Harrington (Eldridge, IA); Jerry Gowey (Urbandale, IA) and Anna Powers (Macomb, IL) will begin the regional final competition in January.

"I'm proud to coach this amazing team," said Assistant Professor Vitaly Brazhkin. "To give you an idea of the degree of competitiveness and pressure involved, in the first round, our team overlooked one parameter when setting a safety stock of finished product. The mistake plunged the ROI to negative 19 percent and sent our team to last place. However, the team reacted with humor and renamed the team "Team Hot Mess;" we were previously just known as team #77. The students analyzed the situation and made a complete recovery in the second round."

WIU's Master of Business Administration program has earned accreditation in both business and accounting by the AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). MBA courses are offered on both the WIU Macomb and WIU-Quad Cities campuses, as well as online, by the Departments of Management and Marketing; Accounting and Finance; Economics and Decision Sciences and the School of Computer Sciences.

For more information, contact Brazhkin at or (309) 762-9481.

Posted By: Alisha Looney (
Office of University Communications & Marketing