What separates OLAB from other summer programs is "The Game." During the week, teams of four or five "Labbies" run a mock business. Teams are all selling a similar product with unique characteristics that they design.
Each day is a new business quarter, and teams must make decisions regarding the same issues that impact large and small businesses--production, marketing, pricing, labor costs, public relations, and stockholders. The principles behind these concepts are presented during lectures given by businessmen and Wabash faculty.
The added element of reality is the computer program developed by the OLAB staff that acts as the "invisible hand" of the market. The program calculates how well each team performed in the fiscal quarter based on all of the factors outlined above.
One of the most fun, and most demanding parts of the week, is the development of advertising campaigns. Teams design corporate logos, develop ideas for print and TV advertisements, and even shoot a commercial for their product.
Team members also must present stockholder speeches, as well as "pitch" their company's ad campaign to a panel of judges.
In the end, honors are awarded to teams that demonstrate an understanding of how all the components of business fit together, not just the team that demonstrates the largest profit.