During Winter Break of 2015 a total of 112 Smith full-time and part-time MBA students traveled abroad on faculty-led global business courses to the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Japan, and Chile.
MBAs Solving Real-World Challenges for Global Clients
The Smith Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) collaborates with CIBER offices at George Washington University, San Diego State University, and the University of Miami to offer students the opportunity to participate in a 4-credit international consulting project. These projects are open to all full-time and part-time MBA students. Global Business Consulting (GBC) is a unique opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience in international business and to expand your professional network.
Students will be assigned to teams of five or six MBA students based on their interests and skill sets, and each team will be assigned a faculty advisor. A client in each country 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.
- Collaborate with students from multiple business, cultural, and university environments to work with corporate executives to solve a business challenge
- Work virtually first in the US and then on the ground in the host country abroad
- Develop actionable recommendations and present these to high-level executives
Upon completion of the GBC students will gain:
- In-depth, first-hand experience providing consulting services in a foreign country
- Access to companies that recruit students
- Knowledge of global business practices, consulting skills and frameworks
- Virtual teaming and cross-cultural communication skills
- Capacity to deliver innovative, operational plans to clients
- Increased competitiveness in today’s job market
- Opportunity to network with MBAs from other universities
GBC Course Structure
- Early February: Launch Weekend
- Late-January to mid-March: Independent work
- Early May: Virtual teamwork begins
- Last two weeks of May: Work abroad in host country and final presentations to the client
Past GBC projects include:
- A multinational paint company asked a team to explore pricing opportunities in order to take advantage of rapid growth in India
- A global leader in oil and gas sought advice on alternative energy businesses to enter in Brazil
- A US multinational clinical trials company wanted to explore the feasibility of expanding their customer base to include Asian pharma companies in China
Every member of a project team must have some level of competency in the language of the project country, and at least one member of each team must be fluent in the language by the time the project begins. Team members with limited knowledge of the language are expected to start language classes no later than mid-January. Language courses and tutorials are available to those selected.
Project and application information for the 2016-2017 Global Business Consulting Project will be announced in August 2016.
Students interested in the GBC can expect to incur costs of tuition for enrollment in the course, domestic airfare to the Launch Weekend, a program fee of $2500, a $250 Education Abroad fee, approximately $39 for mandatory international health insurance, and international round-trip airfare to host country in May.
Costs of the in-country hotel, transportation, and meals, will be covered by the client.
CIBER will offer $1000 scholarships to offset student airfare to/from the host country.
For information, please contact:
Assistant Director, CIBER
Smith students, faculty and staff came together to celebrate International Education Week 2014, a week dedicated to sparking global conversations.
Nicholas Bondura – First, what led you to Germany and doing all the things you’re doing now?
Jacqueline Kwan – I always thought of Germany very favorably because in high school I had to write a paper on the Greek Economic Crisis and I was really impressed with how Germany managed to stay above water during that entire time. Then when I joined the QUEST program, I had a friend who went to WHU and really emphasized how it was such an academically strong and fun university. That really convinced me to choose Germany. As for why I decided to study abroad as a whole, I did a short-term study abroad program this winter and I had such a great time experiencing the culture and being with a close-knit group of people during those two weeks that I thought I would have to do a semester abroad because there would be no other time for me to integrate myself in a different culture at my leisure.
NB – If you were to introduce yourself to a group of Maryland students with a focus on your Education Abroad experience, how would you describe yourself?
JK - I never pegged myself as particularly creative or flexible, but studying abroad definitely helps with that. Going abroad empowered me and not only have I become increasingly independent, but I have also become better at understanding and working with different opinions and mindsets.
NB – Could you describe your role and responsibilities that you have in your position abroad?
JK - I am president of the Tauschie Government, and “Tauschie” is just the way to say ‘Exchange Student’ in German. The International Relations Office and Vallendar Integration Program work with me and two other members to ensure that all exchange students do not encounter any issues with the school. We were all elected by our fellow students- around 150 – to plan the end of semester party as a thank you gift for the WHU students. In order to fundraise for that party, we throw Tauschie Tuesdays which are events where different students can showcase foods from other cultures for the German students. We started off with Italy and Spain and we’ve done Japanese with Sushi as well. This week is actually Mexican food, and it’s a great way to interact with the German students.
NB – How has studying abroad changed your career outlook?
JK - It hasn’t really, I always knew I wanted to work abroad because I can speak conversational Mandarin. Getting to know different languages is always a plus because the world is becoming more and more globalized. Studying abroad has made me realize that I could be open to working in an international location, but I want to work in a US-based firm and then travel to other places.
NB – Do you have any lessons that you’ve learned from being abroad?
JK - One small lesson would be to take your time adapting. No one is used to everyone immediately and it can take a while to warm up to different procedures, such as all the shops closing on Sundays or European lunch breaks. That and just be aware of the cultural differences. Things that are really small are sometimes really huge in the end. Here they are really big on independence, which you can say about anywhere, but here they handle it very calmly.
NB – Any stories about stark cultural differences?
JK - I haven’t experienced too many stark cultural differences other than their independence and their working hours. The WHU students’ diligence is constant versus what I am used to back home. Back home during exam time, everyone is very stressed shortly before an exam takes place. Here they get very stressed about memorizing and for weeks ahead of time. All the tests are very heavily based on remembering the information rather than applying it. The way that they process information is very different and challenging.
NB – How do you plan on bringing your experience back and what does a global mindset mean to you?
JK - When I talk to recruiters they’re always very interested in the differences you see between home life and the city you went to. That’s one way I plan on bringing back experiences. Before, I never really had real leadership opportunities, but here I was given a lot of autonomy with how I choose to budget money, plan events, and work with intermediaries and suppliers. It isn’t characteristic of what I plan to do, but it has made me more well-rounded in what I can handle and it has helped my one-on-one negotiation skills. I can bring that skill set back. In terms of a global mindset, I would go back to having flexibility. Being global means you have to know the cultural differences and know how to move through it and leverage that in a beneficial way.
Interview conducted by Nicholas Bondura, Marketing 2015.
|Faculty||In collaboration with the Center for Social Value Creation (CSVC), the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), and the Office of Global Initiatives|
|Program Dates||During the Spring Semester students will participate in consulting training through the ChangeTheWorld.org Nonprofit Consulting Program and Program Leader, Pammi Bhullar.
Remote Consulting Project begins February 2nd prior to travel. Consulting Kick-Off session in February, Date TBD. ChangeTheWorld.org Symposium in April, Date TBD.
Dates abroad March 14th – March 22nd
|Program Cost||Approximately $2250. Opportunity to apply for scholarships to subsidize cost.|
|Registration||Non-credit opportunity, with for-credit component if requested.|
The application process is competitive. Enrollment in the ChangeTheWorld.org Graduate International Consulting Program is not guaranteed. Students must apply to be considered in the selection process. 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.
To apply, students must submit a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org and submit the following application: ChangeTheWorld.org India Application. The application and resume 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 Program.
Additional follow-up interviews will be held with a subset of the applicant pool to select students.
The selection process will favor:
- Students who already have extensive cross-cultural skills and wish to apply these in a consulting experience
- Students with past experience in the specific region where the consulting will take place
- Students who can demonstrate that they are flexible, adaptable and can handle uncertainty, particularly in a cross-cultural setting
*Language skills of the host country are not required.
Four to five students will be selected. Submit your resume to email@example.com and submit the following application: ChangeTheWorld.org India Application. Application deadline is Monday, December 1st.
Description of Project
This Spring, travel to Dharamsala, India and develop recommendations to improve the overall effectiveness and capacity of Tibetan-owned businesses! In collaboration with the Office of Global Initiaitve (OGI) and the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, ChangeTheWorld.org Nonprofit consulting program will send a team of graduate students consultants on-site for the first time. While in the US, Students will familiarize themselves with the partner organization, Lha Chariable Trust, create a project scope, and conduct research on Tibetan culture and entrepreneurial best practices. The team will then travel to Dharamsala and work with Tibetan small business owners to identify strengths, challenges, and new opportunities. The team will also synthesize what they learn into recommendations for Lha Charitable Trust to continue to serve these entrepreneurs. This is an excellent opportunity to gain consulting experience, serve an amazing nonprofit and explore a unique cultural environment. Applications will be accepted until December 1st and can be found here. For more information on this exciting non-credit program, email Pammi Bhullar: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team will be working on the following project:
Project Title: Increasing Capacity of Tibetan Entrepreneurial Ventures
A team of four to five graduate students will develop recommendations to improve the overall effectiveness and capacity of Tibetan-owned businesses in Dharamsala. As outlined below, part of this project will take place in the US, and part will take place on-the-ground in Dharamsala, India.
This project has three components:
- While in the U.S., the student team will meet virtually with their Lha liaison to gain a deeper understanding of Lha’s purpose, goals, and initiatives, and further define the scope of the project. Students will be assigned 3 to 4 businesses that they will engage with while in India, and will conduct research prior to departing that includes but is not limited to:
- Tibetan culture
- Entrepreneurial best practices
- Product/Service/Trade/Industry-specific market research
- Virtual Interviews with business owners/employees (if possible)
- While in India the student team will work with the businesses to identify strengths, challenges, and new opportunities. The students will consider all aspects of the business and will aim to uncover new pathways for Lha to assist these organizations in reaching their business potential.
- Based on this research and assessment the student team will offer recommendations as to how Lha can best position its current services to have the greatest impact on the community, and recommend additional support services/training that would be helpful to local business owners.
Lha Charitable Trust is a grass-roots, 12AA & 80G non-profit and one of the largest Tibetan social work organizations based in Dharamsala, India. Lha provides vital resources for Tibetan refugees, the local Indian population, and people from the Himalayan regions. Founded in 1997 and registered as a charitable trust by the H.P Indian Government in 2005, Lha has continuously provided vital resources to those in need for over 17 years.
Lha plays a crucial role in facilitating the transition of Tibetan refugees from their homeland to the Indian community by providing long-term rehabilitation and educational resources. Each year programs and projects are adjusted to meet the conditions and needs of the region, yet the commitment remains constant: to help the Tibetan people thrive and prosper in their new home and to preserve their profoundly unique culture. Additionally, Lha offers volunteers and students the opportunity to engage in meaningful community service and social work and seeks to generate an atmosphere of harmony and cooperation within the community by tending to the needs of the impoverished and underprivileged.
The Smith School’s graduate international opportunities offer students the opportunity to earn academic credit for courses that include an international travel component. These programs seek to imbue students with a global mindset and global business savvy so they are well positioned for leadership roles in an increasingly interconnected world.
Why participate in a Smith MBA global course opportunity?
- Employ discipline-based knowledge acquired in the classroom to solve real-world problems faced by companies in a given country or region
- Understand the major business opportunities and growth drivers in a country or region.
- Learn about the institutional structure of a given industry in a specific national or regional context and place this knowledge in comparative perspective
- Gain insight into the effect of cross-cultural differences on interpersonal interactions
- Understand why individuals from different cultures react differently to similar managerial practices, work systems, and human capital management systems
- Learn to effectively design, implement, and manage cross-cultural teams
- Develop an increased tolerance for ambiguity
What are the MBA global opportunities?
- Open to 2nd and 3rd year MBA students
- On-campus coursework
- 8-10 day travel abroad Winter break or Spring break
While abroad, students travel with their professor and visit companies to enhance their business acumen. Students choose courses based on opportunities to develop expertise in their field of interest and based on the opportunity to network with colleagues, faculty and international company executives in their field. Also during the travel component of the program, through experiential and applied learning, students will have opportunities to immerse themselves into the host culture – for example by taking a cooking class to learn about local cuisine, participating in a service-learning project, or doing micro consulting with local students in the host city.
The academic focus and location of these courses change each year.
Global business courses are offered every year and new courses are announced each Spring.
- 2 or 4 credits
- Open to all students, including first year students
- On-campus coursework
- 8-10 day travel abroad Winter break, Spring break, or Summer
International clients provide actionable consulting projects 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 clients include the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka, KW Foundation in Uruguay, AFAR in Tunisia, 3M in Chile, and the ARAVA Institute in Israel.
Smith is globally mobile.
- 36% of our undergraduates participate in global programs
- 50% of our MBA students participate in global programs
- Our students make up 30% of the total number that the University of Maryland sends abroad each year – the highest rate on campus
- 360 undergraduates studied or interned abroad in the 2013-14 academic year
- 230 MBA students studied or consulted abroad in the 2013-14 academic year
- Undergraduates traveled to over 50 countries in last 2 years
- MBA students traveled to over 17 countries in last 2 years
- Students visited over 100 companies abroad in the 2013-14 academic year on our Faculty-led Global Programs
- MBA students consulted for clients in India, Brazil, Chile, China, and Sri Lanka in the 2013-14 academic year
- 1 Smith staff member won an OIA Global Partnerships Staff Development grant for travel to Australia
Smith maintains global partnerships.
- 100+ international exchange and visiting students are welcomed to Smith annually
- 10-15 visiting scholars are hosted per year
- 15 international exchange partners
- 2 faculty have won OIA Global Classroom grants to develop “global classrooms” with partner institutions abroad
- Smith’s alumni network of 55,000 alumni spans 58 countries
- Smith is committed to providing students with opportunities to gain global competencies
- Approximately 15 Smith faculty lead programs abroad every year
- Another 12+ faculty teach courses specifically designed to focus on global business
Smith is globally-minded.
- 89% of undergraduates enter junior year having already traveled outside the USA
- 98% of undergraduates have studied a foreign language for at least a year
- 200 students enrolled in the undergraduate International Business major
- 20 courses offered in the undergraduate curriculum focusing on international business and intercultural communication
- 30% of our faculty hail from abroad
- 40% of the MBA population is international
Why Study Abroad?
Employers consistently demand that their employees have global competency. But how do students develop such a global competency? The Smith School of Business offers a variety of programs – both abroad and on-campus – to help students develop their global mindset.
Interested in Studying Abroad?
Smith School Program Offerings
Think you don’t have enough time to fit in a study abroad experience while earning your degree? Think again!
Earn academic business credits during Winter Break, Spring Break or over the Summer months while experiencing a country or region first-hand. While abroad, visit companies to enhance business acumen and participate in cultural activities designed to facilitate cross-cultural understanding.
A semester abroad challenges students to develop cross-cultural skills in a variety of settings and programs. Students who study abroad for a longer period learn how to successfully navigate foreign environments, communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds and cultures, and adapt to a variety of situations. Some students may also choose to practice a foreign language; however, all of our partner schools offer courses in English.
Looking for a way to enrich your summer? Can’t fit a semester abroad in your schedule? Want to gain professional and academic experience in Australia, the Caribbean, Europe, or Latin America? Enroll in an one of our summer programs and earn up to nine credits!
Developing a global mindset doesn’t require you to leave College Park! Find out more about global opportunities available on-campus.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Oct. 13, 2014) — A new $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education will fund the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business through 2018.