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):
- Rwanda: Engaging Government and Non-profit Agencies in Incorporating Solar Energy Systems
- China: Design and Market Digital Platform to Protect and Conserve Energy & Environment
Projects with travel over winter break (January):
Applications for the GCP are now closed.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
Past Global Consulting Practicum
- Asia-Pacific: Handwriting Without Tears Market Research Project
- Israel: Arava Institute
- India: Facilitating Economic Growth with Tibetan Refugees