||Exact location TBD. The project will take place in Singapore or Hong Kong.
||UMD project advisor TBD.
||Term B + January travel + Term C
During Term B, students will participate in consulting workshops with UMD faculty to prepare for the on-site consulting project and begin working on the project with the client. Meetings prior to travel, dates TBD.
||Two weeks in January 2016, exact dates TBD.
During Term C, students will conclude the consulting workshops, finalize project recommendations, and make a final presentation to the client. Meetings following travel, dates TBD.
||Four credits of tuition + approximately $2500 program fee, $250 Education Abroad Fee, approximately $39 mandatory international health insurance.
The program will cover all ground expenses. Students are responsible for international airfare and visa if applicable.
CIBER will offer grants to student participants.
|Registration and credits
||Students will be enrolled in Testudo by MPO once students are selected. Students will earn 2 credits during term B + 2 credits during term C. Total credits earned = 4 credits.
||All 2nd and 3rd year full time and part time MBAs eligible to apply. Eligible candidates will have relevant academic, professional, and soft skills, such as: excellent interpersonal abilities and high tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty that will ensure their success in an international, cross-cultural consulting setting.
Handwriting Without Tears is in the Educational Publishing industry. The company was established in the late 1970’s by Jan Olsen as a start-up venture and was formally incorporated and scaled in the 1990’s. The company continues to be family owned and operated, and Jan Olson remains on as the President and a key member of the product development team. The company’s headquarters are in Cabin John, Maryland with additional offices in Gaithersburg MD, Omaha NE. There are a total of 160 employees, which includes many remote sales staff.
No Tears Learning develops and publishes joyful, developmentally appropriate curricula, learning aids and instructor training for primary school children and their educators.
No Tears Learning currently houses three main product lines:
- Handwriting Without Tears: Offers student workbooks, manipulative tools, teachers’ guides and online platforms to help children ages K thru 5th grade learn handwriting. HWT is the leading handwriting curriculum in the US and is in use by 20% of K-5th grade students nationwide.
- Get Set for School: Targets Pre-K students and teaches school readiness and pre-writing skills, as well as basic math and literacy skills.
- Keyboarding Without Tears: The newest product line teachers keyboarding, basic computer skills and written production to primary school children through developmentally sequenced, game-based modules. The KWT line was only recently released (July 2014) but has already seen significant success in the US.
No Tears Learning continues to grow across the US and Canada, but only in late 2014 began investigating new international market opportunities. India has been the primary target market and learning platform for the No Tears Learning international expansion and marketing, sales and operational setup activities are currently underway after a year of market research which yielded promising results.
Global Consulting Project Goals
- Investigate market opportunities and feasibility of success for No Tears Learning products in a pre-determined international target market.
- Understand how key early adopter and potential champion networks are organized, and their influence in our target audience in the new market.
- Develop actionable market entry recommendations that minimize company investment and risk exposure in the new market.
Global Consulting Project Description
The student consulting team will be asked to investigate international market opportunities, research viability and formulate an effective entry strategy for a pre-determined international target market.
This international consulting project allows students to translate their classroom learning into the development of real world solutions. Students will work on a 5-person multi-skill collaborative consulting project for No Tear Learning of Bethesda, MD, the top handwriting curriculum publisher in the country. The final project will make the business case for the company’s potential for success in a pre-assigned international market and propose an implementable entry strategy for the new market. Students will be expected to look at factors such as target market demographics and network, competitors in the market, operational and policy challenges and the presence of product champions and potential early adopters.
Projects will begin in Term B with remote macro and micro-level research and planning on the target country. Students will be expected to spend time at company headquarters, familiarizing themselves with company products and operations and establishing stakeholder relationships in the target market. Students will spend approximately two weeks in-country data gathering, holding stakeholder meetings and conducting product trials during the Winter Break. Students will return in Term C for a month of wrap up research and recommendation building to be presented to the client.
Students will be expected to research:
- Macro-level economic statistics and ease of doing business data;
- Industry-specific data and the design of primary education system in the target country;
- Similar products and standards being used, and how products are attained by the end user;
- Organization and influence of potential early adopter and champion populations.
Students will be given full company access and a support team of executive level staff to support the research. Final recommendations and strategy suggestions should be actionable and minimize the company investment and risk exposure. The company will provide close support to the student team to make sure recommendations meet these criteria.
Students who show exceptional skill and interest in the project may have an opportunity to be offered a longer-term position with No Tears Learning.
The application process is competitive. Enrollment in the MBA Global Consulting Practicum is not guaranteed. Students must apply to be considered in the selection process.
- Application submission opens: April 17
- Application submission closes: April 24
- Application review period: April 24 to April 30
- Offers to students made by: May 4
- Students accept offers by: May 11
To apply, only between April 17th and April 24th, students must submit a resume and cover letter to OGI at firstname.lastname@example.org with GLOBAL CONSULTING PRACTICUM in the subject line. The resume, and cover letter will be used to evaluate each student's background and career interests in order to determine which potential consultants are the best fit for the Global Consulting Practicum.
Additional follow-up interviews will be held with a subset of the applicant pool to select students.
The selection process will favor students who have:
- extensive cross-cultural skills and wish to apply these in a consulting experience
- past experience in the specific region where the consulting will take place
- flexibility and adaptability and can handle uncertainty, particularly in a cross-cultural setting
- previous strategic consulting experience, or experience in an entrepreneurial start-up setting
- experience (work or academic) in blue ocean product sales and marketing
- experience (work or academic) in operations strategy and global supply chain planning
- experience (work or academic) in global strategy development and implementation
- curiosity, entrepreneurial spirit, interest in emerging economies and private enterprise growth
Regional language skills are not required, although desirable.
The cover letter should address each of the following:
- The reasons for your interest in participating in this project and your expectations for personal gain from participation in this project, as well as your future career aspirations.
- The skill sets, knowledge and work expertise that you can bring to this particular project. Indicate previous work experience, class/study, internship, etc.
- Substantive experience closely related to the specific industry of the project and to the specific region where the overseas consulting will take place, or substantive experience in an entrepreneurial start-up setting, or in strategic growth of small private enterprises.
- Experience working and/or studying in cross-cultural settings.