An international business class is participating in a virtual program that pairs them with students from around the globe to consult on real-world business projects.
Students in Marketing and International Business Professor Jieqiong Ma, PhD’s Introduction to International Business class are spending the semester working alongside students at nearly 100 universities in 32 countries as part of a virtual project called X-Culture.
The 36 students in Dr. Ma’s fall 2019 semester class were put on a global virtual team of six to eight peers from around the world and chose a case study provided by global X-Culture corporate partners.
The groups develop and present a detailed report that covers a business solution focusing on market opportunities, marketing, and operations.
The project includes students conducting an industry and competitive analysis and identifying promising new markets for the client. They identify channels to promote the product or service in the proposed new market, and determine the best way to convince consumers through messaging and promotional materials that they mock up, such as brochures, emails, web page templates, or social media posts. They recommend sales approaches such as direct sale, franchising, partnership, or through an online retailing platform. They determine the best approach for logistics, including shipping, trade regulations, and certification, develop a suggested pricing strategy, and determine a strategy for attracting investment.
Clients are based around the world in Canada, Brazil, France, China, the Ukraine, and the United States. Several of the groups chose to come up with a report for the Canadian Lake Louise Ski Resort. Other clients include Calgary Airport; Culturally, an online marketplace for hands-on cultural experiences; Kimray, a manufacturer of oil and gas control equipment; Oasis Rocket, a new type of design for interior plants; OGG Business Solutions, which makes gaming software for business education; and Vingt-Huit, an anti-aging product. Students are presenting their work at an online teleconference and receiving feedback from the client CEOs using a rubric-based evaluation.
They experience cultural differences, working across time
zones, learning the reality of workplaces, and preparing them for international
business. At the end of the course, not only does each student receive a Global
Collaboration Experience Certification from X-Culture, they also get valuable
experience in cross-cultural communication, team leadership, online
collaboration, as well as insight into international business practice.
Dr. Ma plans on having her spring IB150 class participate in the course, applying takeaways from this semester to empower students this spring.