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Eckerd College grad wins global business competition

By Robbyn Hopewell
Published August 25, 2021
Categories: Academics, Awards, Chemistry, Management, Students
Eckerd College business student in formal attire in front of wooden fence

Cassidy Tibbetts ’21 wants to develop skincare technologies that are more efficient and sustainable.

Taking pride in her work earned Eckerd College graduate Cassidy Tibbetts ’21 another impressive accolade this summer when she won the grand championship of The Business Strategy Game Best-Strategy Invitational, a global competition.

“People say your grades don’t matter in college, and in some instances they might not,” Tibbetts explains. “But I saved so much money on school by earning new merit scholarships every year … You should always take pride in your work.”

Tibbetts, a chemistry and management graduate from Riverdale, New Jersey, single-handedly beat nine teams from around the world who were invited to compete in a 10-day contest where they were tasked with forecasting the market, setting projections and making strategic decisions for a fictional shoe company during a 10-year simulation.

Her first experience with The Business Strategy Game was “dominating” her classmates in Professor of Finance Tom Ashman’s Business Policy and Strategic Management course.

“Cassidy’s team won our competition in MN 498 this past spring and so was invited to compete against the winning teams from other schools,” Ashman says. “Obviously, the competition is much tougher when restricted to winning teams.”

Tibbetts competed solo after her teammate declined an invitation. Each team was provided a 40-page game manual filled with information and—according to Tibbetts—the key to winning the game.

“Most teams focused on a year-over-year improvement strategy, but in the manual it said that the highest possible score would determine the winner. I focused on getting the highest possible score in all categories,” she recalls. “I secured that score fairly early. The answer was right there in the manual, but not a lot of people take the time to carefully read 40 pages.”

That drive has been with Tibbetts for as long as she can remember and has had an outsized impact on her life. Upon hearing from a cosmetic chemist on her Girl Scout troop’s career day in sixth grade, her career path was set. She chose Eckerd College after meeting a counselor who showed her a strong science program where she would be learning directly from professors as an undergraduate. As a graduating senior at Eckerd, she received the Management Faculty’s Award for Superior Academic Performance. Now, she’s starting her doctorate in chemistry at Texas A&M University after being recruited for her GRE scores and a recommendation from her supervising professor at her Research Experience for Undergraduates at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst.

In a little over five years, when she finishes her coursework and dissertation, Tibbetts hopes to be developing skincare technologies that are more efficient and sustainable. “It’s our largest organ, and we really don’t take care of it enough,” Tibbetts shares. “And the products on the market leave residue in bottles that make them unrecyclable, which is something the industry needs to address.”

She credits her management education at Eckerd College with helping her see the larger implications of the chemistry she was doing in labs and the math she was studying while sunning on South Beach. Tibbetts says she’ll miss Florida, but she plans to return one day, with doctorate in hand. From what we know, if she plans it, it’s a pretty reliable bet.

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