Starting in February, the University of Rochester Simon School of Business will put a playful spin on the inherent competitiveness of business school admissions. The Simon Games, an online business simulator, puts players at the helm of an imaginary $9M computer company over the course of seven weeks, pitting their management skills against those of other applicants who are all vying for a very real prize—scholarship money. With a total of $325K awarded to eight of the school’s executive MBA applicants last year, this year’s contest has expanded to include part-time and full-time program applicants as well, awarding individual scholarships valued at more than $90K (and a grand total of $540K in funding), according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Beyond the potential monetary reward, playing the Simon Games may offer prospective MBAs a glimpse into the business school experience and beyond. “This is your introduction to the quantitative element of a Simon MBA,” explains an EMBA Class of 2013 participant on the contest’s site, adding, “Success in the simulation, and the program, depends on how well you can convert data into information that you will use to make managerial decisions and monitor your performance in the market.” Even if you do not come out of the experience with $90K in funding, you may at least learn something about running a business.