Students win scholarships, job opportunities at 7th annual ERPsim

Students work during round three of the ERP Simulation in McGuirk Arena on Thursday, Feb. 14.

Five Central Michigan University students won $1,000 scholarships after competing against their peers in the 2019 Enterprise Resource Planning Simulation on Feb.14 in McGuirk Arena. 

Of the 40 teams in attendance, eight won scholarships and many students walked away with internships, interviews and jobs opportunities. The winners of the event were decided by which team earned the most money in the competition. 

After hours making difficult business decisions in the simulation, Dart-Team 1 won first place and every teammate received $1,000 scholarship. Lilly-Team 2 won $350 each, Stryker won $300 each, Marathon Petroleum won $250 each and Itelligence won $200 each.

Dart ERP analyst Isaiah Clise mentored Dart-Team 1 and believes their success was due to having teamwork.

“We were expecting to hit top three, but we did good today,” India graduate student Manjunath Madarampalli said. “We all carried a good positive attitude throughout the entire experience that helped us stand here today.”

In the second server, Dart-Team 2 took first and received $300 dollars, Blue Cross Blue Shield-Team 2 won $200 each and PWC won $150 each.

"We played it cool and made it to the top of our tear in the end,” Dart-Team 2 senior Jarett King said. “It feels so good and we won $300 dollars.”

ERPSim is a competition that creates a platform for students to run their own business and make decisions using the SAP system. The SAP system is an enterprise resource software that helps companies with sales, product planning, global integration and provides an organized platform for viewing data. 

There are 35 companies represented in the simulation and 40 teams of college students representing them. Participants played two games that consisted of four rounds. Each 20-minute round simulates multiple weeks in the life of a business. Each day is equal to one minute in the simulation time. 

At the end of the first game the top three teams from server one were Lilly-Team 1, Deloitte-Team 2 and Dow-Team 1. The top three teams from server two were Stryker, Dart-Team1 and IAC. The top ten teams from both servers at the end of round one competed for the $1,000 scholarship. 

"The biggest challenge of putting on this event was coordinating and working with the 200 students who volunteer to do this," Co-Director and Faculty Member Denise McBride said. “But it is all worth it."

The annual ERP Simulation takes place all day on Thursday, Feb. 14 in McGuirk Arena.

This year’s simulation was set in Germany where students sold cereal. The chosen simulation country Germany was broken up into North, South, East and West regions. Students had to decide how much cereal to buy, what kind of cereal is being purchased in each region, who to sell to, what suppliers to use and much more.

Many teams discussed how the blueberry and strawberry cereal prices continued to rise during the first and second simulation games. PWC from server two and Marathon Petroleum had the biggest come backs of the night. Both teams were in second to last place after the first game and ended up winning scholarships in the end. Both Dart teams placed first in their server bracket.

“I get excited before the simulation starts because we put a lot of effort into practicing and all my nerves are mostly excitement,” Iron Mountain senior Kathryn Brown said. “Last year I had friend get hired by Harley Davidson and have seen many more students get jobs after college because of this event.”

Although Lansing junior Brijesh Devaram already had an internship coming into the competition, he said he was there to have fun and gain more experience with the program.

The event began with a luncheon banquet and speeches from keynote speakers Scott King from Ford, Jeff Anderson from SAP and John Wassick from Dow. The speakers discussed the new software and technology being integrated into their work place and the importance software systems and technologies like SAP.

Kyle Nystrom, a 2012 alumnus from Grand Rapids, has participated in the event five out of the six years with Collins Aerospace.

"We hire CMU students because we know that the education they receive in their classroom and the skills they obtain work for our company," Nystrom said. 

The most important thing ERPsim Director and business information systems faculty member Stephen Tracy wanted out of this event was for the students to interact with their mentors and build relationships with professionals.

“We are an opportunity company and typically hire 200-250 interns each year,” said Manager of Talent Acquisition at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mike Busovicki. “We usually leave todays competition with making two to five offers a year.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield handed out four job offers and seven internships at the event. Stryker offered three internships at the event. 

Grand Rapids senior Lexi Lang accepted a job offer from Blue Cross Blue Shield and senior Conner Loughridge accepted an internship.

Lang not only excepted a job but took second place in the server two competition and received a $250 student spirit scholarship at the end of the event. Lang believes ERPsim helped her not only get her job but prepared her with valuable skills applicable to her career.