Preston Schleihs. (Courtesy Mid-State)

Mid-State Digital Marketing student ranks in top ten percent globally

By Patrick Lynn

Wisconsin — Preston Schleihs, a recent graduate of Mid-State Technical College’s Digital Marketing program, has placed in the top 10 percent in the global Marketplace Simulations competition.

The simulation is used by colleges and universities worldwide to evaluate marketing strategy competence.

Mid-State’s Digital Marketing students participated in the global competition as part of their Marketing Management capstone course in May. The competition included three levels of simulation, with Mid-State’s students competing individually at the Marketing Strategy Advanced level, the highest in the marketing category.

This marks the second time Mid-State’s Digital Marketing students have placed in the top 10 percent globally, with two students achieving this ranking in 2021.

“The Marketplace simulation is an integral part of our Digital Marketing program’s capstone course,” said Debby Wallner, Mid-State marketing and business instructor. “It assesses students’ ability to apply program concepts. Achieving a top 10 percent ranking demonstrates perseverance, agility, problem-solving skills, analytical reasoning, and a sound understanding of key business concepts. It also reflects extraordinary business acumen and work ethic.”

“By the end of the simulation, students are so engaged in the competition they forget they are enrolled in a class,” Wallner added.

“I was definitely surprised and elated to learn about my results in the Marketplace simulation,” Schleihs said. “I aimed to be top of my class and felt confident I would do well, but I was not expecting to rank in the top 10 percent globally.”

The Marketplace Live simulation requires each team to successfully execute a complete business strategy in an evolving market. Students “run” an international 3D bike company for two years, competing against other teams using marketing strategies and tactics. They must synthesize data from various departments, leverage resources, and demonstrate mastery of business concepts. The simulation teaches students how to promote and price their bikes, expand sales offices internationally, and forecast sales to staff those offices.

For Schleihs, interpreting data through a marketing lens and asking the right questions to contextualize that data stood out. “The experience was fun and really reaffirmed that all the hands-on work we did in the Digital Marketing program helped me retain what I’d learned and know how to apply it,” he said.

“Preston’s achievement in the global rankings is impressive and showcases his ability to compete on a global scale and succeed in the job market,” Wallner said. “It’s gratifying to see his hard work recognized at this level.”

Schleihs graduated from Mid-State’s Digital Marketing program this spring and plans to transfer to the marketing bachelor’s degree program at UW-Stevens Point this fall.

Marketplace Simulations offers more than 30 marketing and business simulations in nine different languages, used by students and business professionals worldwide.

For more information about Mid-State’s Digital Marketing program, visit mstc.edu/programs.