Students in the Robert H. Smith School of Business's Global Consulting Fellows program "traveled" virtually to Italy recently to connect with their corporate clients – Garmont, a recreational footwear company; D.B. Group, a freight forwarding company, and Fantic Motor, a motorcycle, e-bike and e-scooter company.
As part of the program, five groups of students spent the spring semester working as consultants to solve their clients' unique real-world challenges.
"We are going to use your ideas in the U.S.," said Davide Calcagnotto, Garmont's supply chain manager. Commending the U.S. expansion recommendations, he added that Garmont was looking forward to partnering with the Global Consulting Fellows for years to come.
"The quality of the presentation on Garmont was amazing, said Subra Tangirala, the Dean's Professor of Management at Maryland Smith. "It says a lot that the company manager essentially offered students jobs on the spot, and that Garmont had arrived at the same plan on tactical footwear/governmental contracts independently. I was really impressed with the students."
An executive from D.B. Group, also praised the fellows for their "fantastic research and recommendations," and said he would share the insights with the company's board.
Another fellows' team "traveled" this week to London to submit their findings to FrontierView, a U.K.-based global consulting company. And a final fellows team will "travel" next week to Singapore to present their findings and recommendations to Nas Academy, an educational firm.
Lee Godown, a Washington, D.C., consultant with decades of experience advising and leading top international corporations, serves as a frequent guest speaker and advisor to the undergraduate fellows. Godown's company, Alpex International, represents the three Italian companies.
He said he was pleased to involve the student teams, joking that he was "working himself out of a job," because of the level of professionalism and excellence displayed by the consulting teams.
Reflecting on the past semester, students said the experience was rewarding.
"I [became] comfortable with ambiguity and enjoyed exploring," said Alexander Kristal, a Global Consulting Fellow. "It's no longer about the grade and the rubric."
Fellow Jared Malave agreed, adding, "To have the opportunity to provide a tangible product to a client that they will be able to use is just fabulous."
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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.