Global Initiatives

MBA Global Consulting Practicum

The Smith School Global Consulting Practicum (GCP) is offered as a 4-credit independent study course to MBA students during their 2nd year.  Enrolled students will be assigned to teams based on their interests and skill sets, and each team will be assigned a Smith School faculty advisor.

An international business client will provide an actionable consulting project for which student teams will collaborate to develop and present an innovative, operational plan that will have the most significant impact and best possible outcome for their clients.

Past consulting projects include:

  • Designing an export-development plan for frozen-packed fish, defining a procurement and marketing strategy, and identifying new markets.
  • Helping a retailer with offices in Bangkok and Chonburi expand their market.
  • Identifying a new international market and market-entry strategy for an education publishing company.

Upon completion of the GCP students will gain:

  • In-depth, first-hand experience providing consulting services in a foreign country.
  • Knowledge of global business practices.
  • Insight into cross-cultural differences that affect leadership and interpersonal 
    interactions such as communication, negotiation, conflict resolution and teamwork.
  • Tolerance for ambiguity, which is intrinsic to all global experiences.
  • Capacity to deliver innovative, operational plans to clients.
  • Increased competitiveness in today’s job market.

Students interested in the Smith School GCP can expect to incur costs for roundtrip international airfare, fees from the UMD Education Abroad Office, tuition for enrollment in the course, and costs for personal extracurricular travel activities while in country. Costs for lodging, most meals and site visits in-country will be covered by the program fee.  Grants are offered by OGI and CIBER to reduce program costs.

New for the 2016-2017 Global Consulting Practicum:

Projects with travel over spring break (March):

Projects with travel over winter break (January):

Application Instructions

Applications for the GCP are now closed. 

Key Dates: 

  • Application submission opens: August 23
  • Interviews conducted on a rolling basis upon application
  • Application submission closes: September 6
  • Application review period: August 23 – September 8
  • Offers to students made by: September 14
  • Students accept offers by: September 19
  • Project kick-off meeting by end of October

General student qualifications (please see each project for specific qualifications):

  • 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

Regional language skills are not required, although desirable.

The cover letter should address each of the following:

  1. The reasons for your interest in participating in a consulting project and your expectations for personal gain from participation in this project, as well as your future career aspirations.
  2. The skill sets, knowledge and work expertise that you can bring to this particular project. Indicate previous work experience, class/study, internship, etc.
  3. 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.
  4. Experience working and/or studying in cross-cultural settings.

Past Global Consulting Practicum

  • Asia-Pacific: Handwriting Without Tears Market Research Project
  • Israel: Arava Institute
  • India: Facilitating Economic Growth with Tibetan Refugees

MBA Global Business Courses

2016-17 MBA Global Business Courses

Check the Networth site for up to date information regarding course numbers, registration details, program fees, withdrawal and refund policies, and scholarship opportunities.

Students should not purchase airfare for global business courses until the Office of Global Initiatives officially confirms that the program will be running and sends specific instructions for purchasing airfare.

The first class meeting for all MBA Global Business Courses will be Sunday, September 25, 2016. This meeting is mandatory for all students enrolled in Global Business Courses (both winter break and spring break travel programs).

The final drop date will be Friday, September 9, 2016.

Winter Break - January 2017

CHINA AND HONG KONG: Shanghai and Hong Kong
Opportunities in China’s Service Sector

Mega Projects Management in the United Arab Emirates

JAPAN & SINGAPORE: Tokyo and Singapore
Asia's Tigers Old and New

INDIA: Delhi and Bangalore
An Engine for Growth and Opportunities

Doing Business in South Africa: Opportunities Along the Path to Economic Maturity

Capetown, South Africa

Spring Break - March 2017

BRAZIL: Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro
Growth Opportunities in an Emerging Market

EUROPE: Berlin and Milan
Doing Business in Europe: Central Germany and Northern Italy

Berlin and Milan


Professional Staff

Rebecca Bellinger
Managing Director

Phone: 301-405-6171

Marina Augoustidis
Assistant Director, CIBER Programs

Phone: 301-405-9477

Elizabeth Burzenski

Phone: 301-405-8822

Christopher Olson
Program Manager, Undergraduate Programs
Phone: 301-405-4824

Schedule an appointment:

Gregory Rafal
Program Manager, Undergraduate Programs

Phone: 301-405-8849

Smith Freshmen Go Global

Every year, the town of College Park, Md., sees an influx of thousands of new students from every corner of the nation and even the world. You step into a classroom and you may find a student from Minnesota, Japan or Panama. The teachers that mold and inspire the great minds of the future here at UMD come from all parts of the globe: Lebanon, Germany, India, China, Romania, Nigeria, the list goes on and on. The companies and organizations that are studied meticulously in the classroom, from Pepsi to Apple, from KPMG to Samsung, are global entities with a global workforce and global assets. Take a stroll through Van Munching Hall, and you’re guaranteed to hear more than just the English language. So why is the global mindset so important? The answer is much closer to home than you think.


Subscribe to RSS - Global Initiatives