CEO Showdown: UK Students Compete in High-Stakes Simulation

Earlier this month, the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise (ISFE) hosted The CEO Challenge, a dynamic business simulation competition offering students an immersive experience as CEO’s managing a multi-billion-dollar company. Modeled after flight simulators, the event provided a risk-free environment for student teams to make strategic and operational decisions, ultimately influencing the success and profitability of the simulated company.

Participants across the University of Kentucky as well as the southern region engaged in a two-day competition held November 16-17, where they took on executive leadership roles of the simulated company - Agenius Pharmaceuticals. The simulation aimed at enhancing students’ understanding of financial reporting, strategic thinking, and key business metrics.

The competition attracted nearly 200 students from the University of Kentucky and various southern region universities including Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Northern Kentucky University and West Virginia University.

Dr. Charles Courtemanche, the director of ISFE, shared, “The CEO Challenge provided an immersive experience where students were able to build leadership skills and receive a deeper understanding of business operations. For the first time, this year we opened the competition to teams from universities besides UK, which added an extra layer of challenge and excitement. We congratulate the winning teams and commend all the teams for their effort and enthusiasm.”

Winning Teams Recognized:

1: CEO CATS, University of Kentucky (College of Pharmacy)
William Burkhart, Abigail Carver and Brian Sato

2. 4-1 Marketing, University of Kentucky (Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Gatton College of Business and Economics, Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering).
Calvin Adams, Jose Villanos, Mariam Yaacoub, Noah Yaacoub and Joyce Yang

3. MSF, University of Kentucky (College of Business and Economics)
Mandip Lamichhane, Shivani Pandey, Samuel Schroder and Jalen Williams

4. Team Blue, University of Kentucky (College of Arts and Sciences, Gatton College of Business and Economics, Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering)
Harrison Hill, Milin Shah and Joshua Yang

5. RST, Georgia Institute of Technology
Siddharth Mehta, Taylor Witte and Chaitanya Sri Yetukuri

Since 1925, the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky has been fostering the next generation of business leaders. With a rich history and commitment to shaping the future of business education, Gatton prepares principled leaders for the global economy, produces impactful research and elevates economic growth in Kentucky and beyond.

In 2022, U.S. News and World Report ranked Gatton College #41 among employers nationwide, with over 400 hiring employers. The college is ranked #25 for Best Part-Time MBA Programs/Public Institutions. It’s all made possible by our dedicated team of faculty and staff who make up Gatton’s five academic programs, seven research centers and a $63 million facility that stands ready to support the nearly 5,000 students each year who are eager to learn more, do more and be more.