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MBA Global Consulting Practicum

MBA Global Consulting Practicum is non-repeatable. Students can participate in one MBA Global Business course and one MBA Global Consulting Practicum during their MBA program. The MBA Global Business courses (BUSI 788/ BUSM 778) are non-repeatable as well.

The Smith School Global Consulting Practicum (GCP) is offered as a 4-credit independent study course to MBA students during their 2nd year or 3rd 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.

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, visa cost when applicable and costs for personal extracurricular travel activities while in the country. Costs for lodging, most meals and site visits in-country will be covered by the program fee. Grants are offered by CGB and CIBER to reduce program costs.

2017-2018 Global Consulting Practicum Opportunities:

Four highly competitive consulting projects are being offered this year:

  • Project 1: Industry: Health technology and medical devices Student Focus: market assessment and market entry strategy - Markets considered and potential international field component: Europe, India, or China.
  • Project 2: Industry: Strategic technology consulting services Student Focus: Market assessment and market entry strategy - Markets considered and potential international field component: A country in Southeastern Europe or Tanzania.
  • Project 3: Industry: Energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable construction services Student Focus: Feasibility study, and data analysis to inform energy strategy - Market considered and potential international field component: Ghana.
  • Project 4: Industry: Environmental and energy Student focus: Sales and market analysis to foster global growth - Market considered and potential international field component: China. Preferred skills: Chinese speaking abilities and knowledge of the Chinese market.

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

  • Rwanda: Engaging Government and Non-profit Agencies in Incorporating Solar Energy Systems
  • China: Design and Market Digital Platform to Protect and Conserve Energy & Environment
  • Israel and Palestine: Governance, Capacity and Safety for an Off-Grid Water Project 
  • Asia-Pacific: Handwriting Without Tears Market Research Project
  • Israel: Arava Institute
  • India: Facilitating Economic Growth with Tibetan Refugees