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News Release

Feb. 4, 2021

Renteria applies skills in MBA program to win global competition

By Leah Newell, communication assistant

When Brandi Renteria participated last fall in a global industry simulation for students in Northwest Missouri State University’s Master of Business Administration Executive Seminar course, she knew she was honing her business skills. Little did she know, she would go on to place first in the international competition.

“Honestly, my favorite part of the MBA program was competing in the Business Strategy Game,” Renteria said. “It was fun to test my skills outside of program, too. It was a nice accomplishment.”

The Business Strategy Game (BSG), places students in charge of a simulated manufacturing company that competes in a global market. The challenge is to craft and execute a competitive strategy that results in a respected brand image, keeps their company in contention for global market leadership, and produces good financial performance as measured by earnings per share, return on investment, stock price appreciation and credit rating.

Each semester, top finishers of the BSG are invited to the Best Strategy Invitational, a global competition of high-performing companies. A total of 724 teams from around the world were invited to compete in the December 2020 invitational, and 44 accepted the invitation. They were separated into four simulation industries, each competing for a BSI Grand Championship, and Renteria placed first in her industry.

The BSG serves as a capstone experience that helps students apply their learning through the MBA program. Renteria says the MBA program at Northwest helped her develop resilience and taught her invaluable teamwork skills.

“We had to figure out how to work with our classmates when everybody is living in a different area and has different schedules,” she said. “It was a lot of learning new skills to figure out how to do all of that and make it work. Northwest made me realize I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to.”

Although it’s not required for MBA programs, Dr. Chi Lo Lim, a professor of management at Northwest, integrates the BSG into the capstone course to help students enhance their leadership skills.

“Northwest MBA candidates gain essential tools to better prepare them in effectively communicating across all levels of an organization, along with decision-making tools and problem-solving techniques for any leadership role,” she said.

Brandi was an outstanding student throughout the MBA program, Lim said.

“In her capstone course, she had consistently maintained very high performances in all the exercises and assessments required for the course,” Lim said. “I would classify her in the top 10 percent of our MBA graduates.”

Renteria, of Burlington, Iowa, completed her MBA at Northwest in December with an emphasis in marketing. The affordability of Northwest’s MBA program appealed to her, and it allowed her to continue her full-time employment while she earned the degree.

“Northwest was less than half the cost of another school I considered,” Renteria said. “That was a huge point for me. I didn’t have to take out any loans. I could pay as I go. That’s not always the case when you’re looking at school.”  

She is employed with Iowa-based MidWestOne Bank as a personal banker.

“I use a lot of the marketing concepts in my daily life,” Renteria said. “The MBA program gave me some more information and tools to use for decision-making, forecasting and more that I hadn’t really gotten too deeply involved in before.”

For more information about Northwest’s MBA program, visit


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