Business Student Sets Business Simulation Record

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In a stunning academic achievement, Austin Gehling of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) has achieved the highest score ever recorded in the world for a business simulation.

The business simulation game – “MikesBikes” by Boston-based company Smartsims – was a requirement of Gehling’s Introduction to Business class, run by Professor Russell Holmes. In the simulation, students are given control over all aspects of their own company, including distribution, operations and finance. Participants compete directly with their classmates with the goal of maximizing shareholder value, but are also ranked against more than 8,000 fellow students across the world.

While a shareholder value of $100 is considered a good outcome, Gehling completed the simulation with a shareholder value of $413.86 – the highest ever achieved. Former DMACC student, Mason Ohnemus, previously had the second-best score but has now fallen to third place.

Business simulations are becoming increasingly popular in college and universities as a way of providing real-life practice in a low-risk environment. A 2006 study in American Society of Training and Development found that the competitive game atmosphere of business simulations improved student engagement. Moreover, a 2004 study in Simulation & Gaming found a positive correlation between simulation performance and future workplace salaries and promotions.

This finding bodes well for Gehling, who earlier this month was awarded a plaque for his outstanding achievement.

“Austin’s performance is extremely impressive, and I have no doubt he has a bright future ahead of him,” says Smartsims’ Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Ian McPherson. “It goes to show how business simulation games like ‘MikesBikes’ can really motivate students to go the extra mile to succeed, while also learning important concepts about how to run a business. As a method of experiential learningsimulations just can’t be beat.”

To find out more about “MikesBikes” or business simulations, visit

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