In Spring 2013 Carlow MBA students enrolled in the Global Business course with Professors Rachel Chung, PhD, and Bruce Rosenthal, PhD, created investment proposals to export three products to China: nebulizers, home healthcare, and Moes Southwest Grill. Student teams performed country analysis, national market analysis, and discussed challenges as well as opportunities in marketing management, supply chain management, financial management, intellectual properties, and other legal or ethical issues in exploring the China market for these three products.
Designed based on NASBITE’s Certification for Global Business Professional, the Global Business course prepares students for the four knowledge domains of the certification program: global management, global marketing, global supply chain management, and trade finance.
One student summed up the key take-aways from this learning experience well:
1. Culture is important. Understanding people, ideas, religions, politics….the list goes on. Without having a solid understanding of the country you are interested in working with and growing your company helps to set up expectations as well as make decisions.
2. Understanding the cost related to exporting to another country are vital in determining the amount of monies needed to support your plan. Also, knowing which organizations would be best suited to provide you financial is vital. Also, the paperwork is important – and there is a great deal. Working with an organization that has solid working knowledge of all the paperwork and financial related to it is important.
3. If you are choosing a partner overseas – research them. With our China proposal, being aware of the potential corruption was important and we want to make sure that we have a sound partner.
4. Be patient. It takes time to build relationships. In China – minimally expect to take 2 years to do so.
Students particularly appreciated the opportunity to integrate multiple disciplines of business knowledge and apply skills in culturally sensitive ways. Jacqueline Foradori reflected on what she learned from this course: “I am so glad that I had the chance to take this course and I learned much more than I had ever really expected. This class gave me a greater understanding of what goes into a business moving into the global sector from doing in-depth research into your product or service that you wish to export internationally to researching the country you intent to do business in, such as a country analysis, supply chain analysis, regional and national analysis, etc. This course also gave me a better sense of how business is conducted in China based on culture, social norms, daily business transactions, what products and services fit the Chinese market. The videos, webinars, speaker presentations via WebEx, websites, and information presented to us from the professors were of great help and made the online learning experience more interactive and enjoyable. I would recommend taking this course to anyone in the MBA program because it really brings everything we have learned thus far all together. This course really brings you out of your comfort zone and challenges you to think in new and innovative ways.”
Jodi Holstrom agreed: “Over the past couple of years while I pursued my MBA, I have been giving a lot of thought to what career path I would choose for my upcoming future, since I have been transitioning in a number of ways. Prior to beginning this course, I had real interest in learning about global business in China, or in any emerging market, but did not think I would take the path of working for any large enterprise that might actually be doing business in China. While I still do not know what exact path I will be choosing, this course has both prepared me well for any endeavors into the challenging BRIC countries, and has also had the surprising effect of sparking my interest in the possibilities of working for a large company doing just that very thing. The coursework has intrigued me especially in regards to the fine nuances that are important to recognize when it comes to doing business in another very different culture in which most of us have little or no experience. I have found this course to be very informative, but more so in a ‘big picture’ way than in specific facts. Throughout the course I have learned that while we only studied China specifically, that the same processes we have learned can be applied to any of the emerging markets. We now have the tools and foundation to teach ourselves how to enter a different market, even if it is not China. I loved the wide variety of subject matter, and how the course design required us to think critically, and to some degree ‘out of the box’. This has been one of my favorite courses of all those I have taken in the Carlow MBA program. I appreciated the thoughtful feedback from the instructors, and certainly the cache of knowledge that the course provided. Thank you as well for your ongoing educational support and always being quickly accessible when contacted. I wish I could take similar courses on Brazil and India (no offense to Russia!) but as I said before, I feel well prepared now, should I need to examine those other emerging markets on my own. ”
Comments from other members of the class resonate the sentiment of Jacquline and Jodi: “Global Business has taught me not only how to potentially take a business into another country, but has also provided tools to open a business anywhere. It has opened my eyes to some of the important items to look for when considering opening a business, such as looking into the region, marketing, supply chain, legal, and ethical issues. With the information I have obtained from this course I truly feel I have learned the necessary tools to research and decide whether a business idea is doable in a certain area. Advice for future students is to make sure you diligently through the project, because this course is a lot of work and if you procrastinate it can make your semester stressful.”
“This course has really helped me to understand many of the basics of global business and gave me a greater depth of understanding via WebEx’s and many video’s presented throughout the course of how global business really operates and the impacts it has on everyone involved. I learned how a company can succeed or fail internationally and all the research and knowledge it takes to successfully give a company international expansion. Recently in my company (I work for Ciber Inc, in the Global Solutions building and am contracted with Highmark, Inc) the CEO of the company came to discuss many of the globalized moves the company is taking and how they are beginning to further expand internationally in many countries. The knowledge I gained through this course really helped me to understand exactly what the CEO meant in his presentation and I hope to learn more about this within my company as well and be able to utilize my knowledge on this topic.
Some advice I could offer to other students is that international business is not something to be impatient about for one needs to work on developing relationships with other countries. Implanting a successful international business requires lots of skills and knowledge, but most importantly patience and understanding of culture.”
“I was very interested in learning about international business. I have learned during this course, that as a woman I need to literally ask for what I want and go for it. I have learned that I have skills in leadership, strategy, research, and ethics to succeed as a leader in business whether nationally or internationally. During this course of global business, I learned with the right data and research you can succeed internationally. There are many resources, supporting sites, and government agencies for guidance through business opportunities. ”
This course, along with the upcoming MBA concentration on Global Business, prepares the MBA student for the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) credential. For information about the Global Business course, Carlow MBA’s new concentration on Global Business, and public resources available for global business, please visit the website for Carlow Global business at: http://cgbcarlow.wordpress.com/