Posters filled the halls of the Smith School atrium on February 16, 2017, as more than 140 undergraduate students gathered to showcase their global learning. Student participants recently returned from five faculty-led, short-term study abroad programs that traveled over winter break to the following locations: Australia and New Zealand; Dubai and Hong Kong; Japan; South Africa; and London, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
For the first time ever, this year’s showcase was integrated into the common core curriculum of the faculty-led, short-term undergraduate programs. Therefore, as part of their study abroad experience, student teams had the opportunity to create a poster in one of four categories: 1) Comparative Business Analysis; 2) Effects of Culture on Business; 3) Enterprise and Innovation; and 4) Opportunities and Challenges for U.S. Businesses.
A team of 15 judges assessed the posters based on presenters’ knowledge, visual presentation, professionalism, and the ability to answer questions. Participating judges represented a variety of organizations, including the University of Maryland, Central Atlantic Toyota, CET Academic Programs, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bowie State University, Tata Communications, CohnReznick, and government agencies.
Students at the showcase studied abroad for a variety of reasons, including the ability to gain exposure to a new country’s culture, study the business environment in the program destination(s), and further their knowledge regarding topics already studied in business coursework at the University of Maryland. Presenters enjoyed the opportunity to come together again with the students in their program and revisit their experiences, while also learning from students who studied abroad in other programs as well.
Following the poster presentations, OGI/CIBER Program Manager Greg Rafal showed students a slideshow filled with photos from their programs and led the students in a game of interactive trivia. "I was extremely impressed by the caliber of poster presentations,” said Rafal. “The students did a fantastic job of integrating their global mindset with the business concepts they learned while abroad. It was a proud moment for the faculty and staff to see their work come to fruition."
To conclude the program, OGI/CIBER Managing Director Rebecca Bellinger introduced the panel of judges who then announced the winners of each category. Each winning team listed below received a $500 award.
Enterprise and Innovation: “Rise of the Machines: Audit Version” – Menaza Fernando, Nakiso Mgodi-Kaiyo, Catthy Pham
Opportunities and Challenges for U.S. Businesses: “The Test of Tradition: U.S. Businesses Expanding to Japan” – Zachary Azrael, Thomas James, Jordan King, Dominick Montero
Effects of Culture on Business: “The Best Quest2Japan” – Lucy Bedewi, Jacob Lapidus, Eleanna Makris, Ananth Srivatsan
Comparative Business Analysis: “Triple Bottom Line: An Analysis of Business Practices in the U.S. and New Zealand” – Hannah Albero, Avani Katta, Steven Ramsburg
Fan Favorite Award: “Bridging the Gap” – Rashad Johnson, Anna Lee, Doron Tadmor, Nicky Talwar, Nyajei Vandi
“My group and I thought it was a great way for us to see our classmates’ presentations and learn about everyone else’s study abroad experiences,” said Doron Tadmor, member of the “Fan Favorite” poster category team. “When our team name was announced, I was in shock. I know all of the groups put in their all and to say we are the fan favorite is really an honor.”
To learn more about global programs at the Smith School, please visit www.rhsmith.umd.edu/global.
Special thanks to the following team of judges: Nathaniel Ahrens, University of Maryland; Rebecca Bellinger, Robert H. Smith School of Business; Michael Boyland, Central Atlantic Toyota; Brian Horick, Robert H. Smith School of Business; Steve Kaffen, Author and Former USAID and Office of Inspector General; Mark Lenhart, CET Academic Programs; Carla Menendez, U.S. Department of Commerce; Anthony Nelson, Bowie State University; Kislaya Prasad, Robert H. Smith School of Business; Dave Ryan, Tata Communications; Saul Sosnowski, University of Maryland; Bill Tzamaras, Cohn Reznick; David VanLone, Robert H. Smith School of Business; Sue White, Robert H. Smith School of Business; and Rebecca Winner, Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Additional thanks to the staff/faculty members who led this year’s programs: Pamela Armstrong, David Ashley, Eugene Cantor, James McKinney, Victor Mullins, Jeanette Snider, Mark Wellman, and Lily Griner.