International Business Director, Dr. Meredith Taylor Black presents podcast entitled “The WTO: Made By the World, For the World” in which she answers the question, “What is the World Trade Organization (WTO) and why should you care about it?”
Monthly Archives: May 2012
Beyond the Blue Podcast: IB Director Meredith Taylor Black
Two IB Students Members of Award Winning Model UN Team
Marketing Professor Takes Part in Heidelberg Project 2012
As part of the International Business Heidelberg Project, a professor of COBE’s marketing department, Jason MacDonald, recently visited Heidelberg, Germany. The Heidelberg project is a collaborative effort between Boise State University’s College of Business and Economics, the Business School of Applied Science University of Heidelberg, Germany (SRH Heidelberg), the Idaho Small Business Development Center, and Boise State’s TECenter. The project offers students an opportunity to gain real world experience in international business by researching business opportunities in the German market.
Professor MacDonald’s trip to Heidelberg was conducted during Phase 2 of the Heidelberg Project. Phase 1 was implemented by Dr. Meredith Taylor Black’s IB320 students. The IB320 students provided four participating Idaho firms with initial reports on market opportunities in Germany. These initial reports were then sent electronically to the SRH Heidelberg MBA students for further analysis. While in Germany, Professor MacDonald met with those students to provide feedback on their research efforts.
MacDonald says of his experience:
“Interacting with the German MBA students was a great experience. They provided a lot of valuable insight on the threats and opportunities the Idaho companies would face if they entered the German market. In addition, I was very impressed with how well these students could communicate in English and other languages. While watching the presentations, for example, I overheard many of the students seamlessly transitioning between German, English, Spanish, and other languages. I came away wishing that our education system placed more emphasis on developing language skills that are essential for doing business in a global economy.
My impression of SRH Heidelberg is that it is a very progressive and modern German University. Unlike most German higher education programs, the classes at SRH are relatively small and look more like the business classes you would see our College of Business and Economics. Although the student-professor relationship is slightly more formal than it is here, the professors are very friendly and have an open door policy.
The town of Heidelberg is a classic German town with a large castle and picturesque streets and shops. Public transportation is excellent and, maybe because of the long-time US military presence in the region, you will find that most shop owners, restaurant servers, and even cab drivers speak English.
Overall, Heidelberg is an excellent destination for Boise State students that would like to study abroad. I highly encourage our COBE students to investigate the opportunities our IB program has developed by getting involved with the Heidelberg project or by studying at SRH Heidelberg.”
International Business Programs Welcomes Grace Lin for 8-Week Internship
International Business Programs is pleased to host Ms. Grace Lin for eight weeks this Spring Semester. The eight week internship program is coordinated by the Intensive English Program, a division of BSU’s English Department, and the prestigious International Trade Institute of Taiwan (ITI).
After completing her undergraduate degree in Hotel Management, Grace is now in her final semester of the graduate certificate program at ITI. Her internship at BSU will serve as the capstone project of her training.
During the course of the internship, Grace will be responsible for completing several assignments for ITI, including a SWOT Analysis and a Final Presentation over her experience. However, Grace will also have several projects assigned to her by International Business Director, Dr. Meredith Taylor Black. Grace will be asked to translate several pages of information on the developing International Trade Certificate Program into Chinese; she will reach out to Taiwanese firms and universities with whom the Program and University could potentially develop partnerships; and she will also assist in creating a podcast highlighting Taiwan-Idaho trade relations. Co-worker, Alycia Finkbeiner, comments on Grace’s work ethic: “In the few short days I have known her, Grace has proven herself to be a motivated team-player. Grace is reliable, honest, adaptable and open-minded. She is truly a joy to be around.”
In 2007, Grace visited the West Coast with professors and classmates in what she calls a “wonderful and unforgettable experience.” Now in her second trip to the United States, Grace says she is “looking forward to understanding the real American lifestyle, including the food, culture, people, and landscape…even the way of thinking because it will help me consider things in a different way.”
Grace comes to BSU with a variety of skills, interests, and experiences. She is fluent in both Mandarin and English. She also possesses a working knowledge of Japanese. Grace greatly enjoys traveling and hopes to gain employment in an arena which will allow her to do so often. She is interested in cooking and baking. Grace says, “I enjoy meeting new friends and experiencing different cultures and food. I hope I can share our [Taiwanese] culture with new friends by cooking them traditional food.”
Grace on her first day of work with sponsor Mr. Richard Murray and IB Director, Meredith Taylor Black.
Heidelberg Project Enters Phase 3
Boise State University’s College of Business and Economics and The Business School of Applied Science University of Heidelberg, Germany (SRH Heidelberg), in collaboration with the International Business Programs, Idaho Small Business Development Center and TECenter, have developed a program that offers Idaho companies a unique opportunity to investigate market opportunities in Germany and Europe. Student teams, with oversight from professors at both universities, conduct field research for Idaho companies on potential markets and other specific queries from the firms.
Four Idaho companies have been selected to participate in the 7th annual Heidelberg Project. These firms will receive a marketing study, analysis and plan related to the potential for their products or services in Europe or Germany.
Phase 1 began in January with Dr. Meredith Taylor Black’s IB320 “Managing in a Global Economy” course. BSU consultants provided each firm with a report on initial research findings, as well as, directives for the Heidelberg consultants.
Phase 2 “on the ground” research was conducted by SRH Heidelberg MBA consultants and was supervised by SRH Heidelberg coordinators Susanna Propp, Joachim Glaeser, and Bettina Pauley. BSU Marketing Professor, Jason MacDonald, traveled to Germany to meet these coordinators and students, learn more about study abroad opportunities, and to participate in the final video conference in which the consultants provided a written report over their findings and recommendations for discussion.
During Phase 3, the research findings from the Heidelberg MBA consultants have been given to consultants in the BSU IB443 “Import/Export” course for review as a capstone project, and will be supervised by Damien Bard, Administrator to the International Business Division of the Idaho Department of Commerce. The IB443 consultants will then conduct an export ready assessment and make final recommendations to the participating firms on their European/German market entry strategies.
World Trade Day 2012
This annual event draws U.S. companies from across the Northwest who export their goods or services to foreign markets, and offers insight on the most pressing export issues facing companies today.
The keynote address, “Free Trade Agreements and American Jobs,” will feature Ambassador Islam Siddiqui, chief agriculture negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Featured speakers include Robert Lang, Brookings Institution; Katja Kravetsky, U.S. Commercial Service, St. Petersburg, Russia; Brad Frazer, Hawley Troxell; Stephen E. Alley, U.S. Embassy, Mexico; Vince Brascia, Transform Solar; Charles Herrington, Micron Technology; and successful Idaho entrepreneurs who are developing new foreign markets.
World Trade Day is presented by the Idaho District Export Council, in cooperation with Boise State’s International Business Program. IB is involved with a number of initiatives aimed at helping students further their knowledge of foreign trade while assisting Idaho companies develop their export potential.
For example, the Heidelberg Project pairs four Idaho firms that desire to enter European markets with teams of students for a three-phase project. Students in the IB 320 “Managing in a Global Economy” course completed preliminary company and product research. Their data was handed off to MBA students at Applied Sciences University in Heidelberg, Germany who engaged in “on-the-ground” research in the targeted market and industry. Finally, a third set of students in the IB 443 “Exporting and Importing Procedures” class will complete a capstone project on the findings. Student assignments include administering surveys, interviewing potential buyers for the products, collecting information on local trade fairs and exploring additional marketing avenues.
“The companies will walk away with a full assessment and a strategic plan for exporting their products,” said department chair Meredith Taylor Black. “And our students will gain valuable experience and understanding of international business markets.”
Opportunities for involvement are not limited to in-class projects. IB students were integral to the success of last year’s Export Excellence program, a partnership between TechHelp, the Idaho District Export Council and the U.S. Commercial Service. Seven international business majors, serving as interns, were matched with seven Idaho-based companies and worked alongside international business experts to help develop export plans for the companies’ products.
Joe DeGano, the marketing manager for 2011 Export Excellence company Rekluse, praised the quality of the participating interns.
“One of the key benefits of the program was our Boise State University international business intern, Leo Raya,” he said. “We have since kept him on because he produces results and adds great enthusiasm and resources.”
The success of the Export Excellence program highlighted the relevancy of international business education, added Black. And the department is seeking additional programs and opportunities for students. “One of the long-term goals in our internationalization strategy is the establishment of international (research) cooperation with our partner institutions,” Black said. “Idaho has a unique trade agreement with Taiwan and this particular relationship holds many possibilities.”
Black visited Taiwan last October as a distinguished member of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office’s (TECO) Young Scholar and Expert Delegation. During her visit, she met with government officials, political leaders, and business executives. Since her return, the International Business department has increased its focus on exploring collaborative opportunities with Taiwanese institutions and is currently hosting an intern from Taiwan’s renowned International Trade Institute. A recent Boise State graduate is working in Taipei as an ambassador for the Department and is actively assisting with the development of additional partnerships.
Finally, in an effort to expand its educational offering to graduate students and local professionals, the International Business department is developing an International Trade Certificate (ITC) Program, incorporating training for the nationally-recognized Certificate of Global Business Professionals (CGBP). As the only program of its type in Idaho, the ITC will seek to stimulate the export sector by providing its holders with a strong background in international business principles and trade practices.
The program is expected to begin in fall 2013.
By: Sherry Squires