CAPSIM: To Be CEO in an Imaginary Internet World

In order to graduate with my undergrad in marketing, I need to pass a capstone course – ah, how lovely. This course is supposed to utilize everything the student learned in their 4 years of study (in my case 13). My school’s chosen method is a devil program sent straight from the fiery depths of the underworld to torture me. This little “game” is called CAPSIM, lovingly making students feel like incompetent imbeciles since 1998.

All in jest! This program is designed to put the student (me) in charge of a multi-million dollar company and see how I fare. Likely not well! The student is solely responsible for different aspects of the business including HR, finance, marketing, production and so on. Each round of the simulation is considered one whole calendar year of business. How speedy! Changes can be made to each category and a slew of reports are created each round which show the income statement, balance sheet, and industry conditions, etc.

Even after all my years of schooling, I am in no way ready to be a CEO of any company. Heck no. This little simulation of real life gave me a sobering dose of reality: I should never be in charge of a company’s entire balance sheet. Lord, no. No. No. No. My first day as CEO of any company would consist of hiring the best accountants and financiers I could find. Money would be no object! Whoops, now you see the problem.

Before the start of the simulation, I researched the program to death. The inter-web is filled with strategies for how to “win at CAPSIM.” The amount of information is staggering. Of course everyone suggested different paths – one even saying the imaginary loans you “borrow” in the simulation don’t need to be repaid for 10 years and the game only lasts 8, so go bonkers.

Surprisingly enough I haven’t yet gone belly up! My husband even joked, “how fun, a video game!” Haha, not exactly. Now in round 6, I can see things starting to go sideways – my cash flow is nonexistent, I have too much product, and my marketing budget is dwindling. With only two rounds left, I am trying to stay afloat. Lesson learned, I am not CEO material! Not yet, anyway.

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