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As part of the Global MBA curriculum, all first-year students participate in one of several Consulting Abroad Projects (CAPs). There is a three-course sequence taken during the spring semester which is designed to assist students in preparing and implementing their projects. By the end of their first year of study all Global MBA students gain experience working on a professional consultancy project abroad.
Locations - Although locations vary depending on the area of faculty expertise, International Education & Programs seeks diversity in geographic region and business sector when evaluating project proposals. Click on the destination titles below to read more about the project descriptions.
1.International Management – Taken during the second half of the spring semester, this course provides students with the appropriate basic skills necessary to understand international business practices. Additionally, this class serves as a context for how these skills may be transferable to their projects that will follow in subsequent months.
2.International Consultancy Practicum Lab - Also during the second half of the spring semester, students participate in a project-specific class, organized by the faculty leading each international consultancy project. This course presents an opportunity for students to learn the scope and challenges of their assigned projects as well as to begin developing business solutions for their organizations.
3.International Consultancy Project - Students depart in mid-May to complete their international projects. During their time abroad students work as business consultants for their partner organizations. The faculty-led residency includes site visits to relevant institutions and organizations in-country as well as visits to cultural sites of interest. At the conclusion of this two-week period, students present their business plans and final recommendations to the organization abroad.
For additional information about the Global MBA Project, please contact International Education and Programs, at email@example.com or +1 202-994-1212.
2012 Project Descriptions
Project Description: The purpose of this practicum is to explore how business models and practice can contribute to improve the standard of living of subsistence communities through viable income generating solutions that conserve fragile environments. The practicum focuses on the Tapajos river-based communities in Santarem, State of Para, Brazil - a rainforest rich in natural resources that support extractive agricultural hunting, and fishing activities. The engagement focuses on the viability of community tourism, handicrafts, honey and fish farming projects. The Client for the project is Projeto Saude e Alegria (PSA), whose name means “Health and Happiness” in Portuguese. PSA has an impressive track record helping to advance environmental, social, and economic sustainability (or long-term quality of life) to individuals, households, and communities along the western banks of the Brazilian Amazon River.
Instructor: Dr. Robles is Professor of International Marketing and International Relations at the School of Business of the George Washington University. Dr. Robles’s research and consulting experience is in Global Marketing and Regional Marketing Strategies. His book on Winning Strategies for the New Latin Markets published in 2002 has been categorized as pioneering work in the field of regional studies. His articles have appeared in many academic and professional journals and serves in the editorial boards of Management Decision, Journal of Asia Pacific Business and Academia- Revista Latinoamericana de Administracion.
Dr. Robles has led many country study visits to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Costa Rica for GW Executive MBA, PMBA and BBA students in the past. In the summer of 2011, he offered the pioneer short-term study of the Amazon from a global business and sustainability perspective on which the consulting practicum is based. A native of Peru, Dr. Robles received a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at the National University of Engineering and a Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Business Administration (ESAN) in Lima, Peru. He has an MBA degree from Georgia State University and a Ph.D. degree in Business Administration from the Pennsylvania State University.
Project Description: The consulting practicum will provide a valuable opportunity for GMBA students to learn about a key emerging economy, India. Students will evaluate the potential for expansion of the Global Research and Analytics (GRA) business of an Indian rating agency, in the U.S. market. The GRA business provides ratings, research, risk and policy advisory services to the world’s banking financial service and insurance (BFSI) firms. Students will examine how changes in the U.S. regulatory environment in the BFSI sector have created opportunities and challenges for expansion of the GRA business. The key objective is to provide students an understanding of how managers from emerging markets can create a strategy to pursue competitive advantage in the overseas environment.
Instructor: Professor Anu Phene is an Associate Professor of International Business at the School of Business at George Washington University. Professor Phene teaches courses related to International Strategy and International Management. Her research focuses on multinational firm and subsidiary strategy, knowledge creation and transfer within and across firms, geographic boundaries of knowledge, and strategic alliances. She has authored publications in Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies and Management International Review.
Project Description: “Non-Market Strategy in Peru” This CAP intends to explore the challenges and opportunities presented to business by their “nonmarket environment”. In contrast with more traditional strategy courses considering the relationships of a firm with its suppliers, customers and competitors - the firm’s market or competitive environment-, this CAP will focus on exploring the firm’s interactions with its nonmarket environment -governments, nongovernment organizations, communities, and the media; an area of corporate activity that has been shown to have an increasingly larger impact on firms’ profitability and sustainability. Hence, this CAP will expose students to how firms in different sectors perceive, conceptualize, and respond to their nonmarket environment. This may include working on one or several of the following: CSR strategy, firm political/government strategy, public relations, or community relations strategy. We will also try to sample a variety of industries -agro, extractive, financial and mass consumption industries- either through our clients or on-site visits. In all of these industries, how firms manage their nonmarket environment is of fundamental importance but the set of pressures on firms and available corporate responses are substantially different.
The site of this residency will be Lima, Peru. Some of the aspects that make Peru a particularly interesting site are the following. First, Peru has been one of the most successful economic stories among developing countries in the last few years. Second, it has recently undergone presidential elections that have, at least on paper, represented a turn toward the left of the political spectrum. However, unlike other countries in the region that experienced similar shifts, Peru’s new regime has maintained a very conservative economic policy. Having first hand exposure to this tension between economic and social pulls and the ways in which government authorities balance them represents a rare opportunity. Finally, Peru is a cultural melting pot tracing its heritage to the Inca Empire, the Spanish colonizers, and more recently to considerable levels of regional migration (both in-and-out migration).
Instructor: Rafael Lucea is an Assistant Professor of International Business at The George Washington University School of Business. His teaching ranges from introductory courses on international business to advanced courses on global strategic management.
Professor Lucea’s research is primarily focused on the management of a firm’s non-market environment and its influence on the firm’s performance. The non-market environment of a firm is conceived as the set of relationships, confrontational or collaborative, that it establishes with actors such as governments, non-government organizations (NGOs), or local communities. Because the actions carried out by these non-market actors increasingly span multiple country borders, the appropriate level of analysis of this phenomenon is, increasingly, the global arena. In contrast with the existing structural approaches to the study of this phenomenon, Professor Lucea focuses on the role that cognition plays in the interaction between firms and their non-market counterparts.
Dr. Lucea received his Ph.D. in Strategy and International Management from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. He also holds an M.Sc. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA and BA from Esade (Spain).
Project Description: Rwanda has been experiencing rapid economic growth due primarily to serious efforts improving domestic governance and the operating environment for business. The country is fertile territory for examining the nexus of business, institutions, and development. Nevertheless, it is still a predominantly poor, agricultural economy. With per capita GDP (at purchasing power parity) estimated at $1,284, some issues to be addressed include how to make investments to spur growth and how to finance such investments. Other issues include how to serve un-banked rural populations and how to improve the productivity of the agricultural sector.
The consulting abroad program will approach these issues though projects related to finance, and will give students an opportunity to use skills in finance, economics, and strategy to assist clients in developing new products or operating approaches suitable for the environment. The clients chosen include a domestic microfinance institution, a development fund, and a dairy testing service provider. Students will work in small teams on separate projects, although the topics will be similar enough to allow students to benefit from discussion in a larger group.
Instructor: Reid. W. Click is Associate Professor of International Business and International Affairs at The George Washington University, where he teaches courses in international financial management, macroeconomics for the global economy, and international economics. He received M.B.A. (1987) and Ph.D. (1994) degrees in Economics and International Business from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Professor Click is an expert on international financial risk and risk management. His academic research is predominantly empirical, and examines exchange rates and exchange rate risk; political risk; firm value; central banking; international commercial banking; and the integration of financial markets. His research has been published in leading journals, including Economics Letters; Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking; Japan and the World Economy; Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control; International Journal of Finance and Economics; Journal of Asian Economics; Development Policy Review; and Journal of International Business Studies. He is currently serving as Associate Editor in the field of international finance for the Journal of Asian Economics.
Dr. Click has been a consultant for several international organizations. He currently serves as an advisor to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Development Credit on matters pertaining to international financial risk and risk management. He has also advised the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
Stockholm, Västerås & Malmö, Sweden
Project Description: The destinations for the 2012 Sweden CAP are Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, Västerås, located less than an hour away from Stockholm, and Malmö in Southern Sweden. The focus of the program is the Clean Technology sector. Sustainability is central to life in Sweden and the Swedes have decades of experience with successful and innovative companies devoted to energy conservation and other green initiatives. While there is clearly a mainstream focus on sustainability in the Swedish population as a whole, many of these companies are products of the cold, Nordic climate, the need to conserve energy, a strong focus on technology, and environmental stewardship.In collaboration with the Swedish American Chambers of Commerce (SACC) and Mälardalens Handelskammare, three Swedish CleanTech companies have been selected to participate in this year’s CAP. The consulting projects will focus on full-fledged environmental analysis of the US CleanTech market, its regulatory and institutional landscape, as well as competitive analysis in preparation of our clients’ market entry into or expansion in the US. While in Sweden, students will conduct site visits at a number of Swedish companies and other organizations, such as ABB, Skanska,Vafab, Mälarenergi AB, as well as local universities and CleanTech incubators.
Instructor: Anna Helm is Assistant Professor of International Business, currently teaching courses on international marketing management and green business. A member of the GW School of Business community since 2006, Professor Helm has taught numerous courses involving real client projects in her marketing courses. For two consecutive years she has offered international residency courses to Sweden within GWU’s Global MBA Program, focusing on CleanTech and marketing strategy. Through a 2010 grant from the Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, she has also developed a service-learning course entitled “International Perspectives on Green Business.” Professor Helm is currently pursuing research on cross-cultural differences in consumer perceptions of green products.
Project Description:The Turkey Consulting Abroad Program involves projects on some of the most robust and competitive sectors of Turkey, a high-growth, dynamic economy situated in one of the most difficult regions of the world. Targeted sectors are in automotive manufacturing and healthcare. Three-four teams of students will work on various projects with Ford Otosan focused on marketing, human resources, IT, and market entry. An additional team will work with Acibadem on penetration into the US healthcare market by a Turkish Hospital Group.
Students will be able to apply their analytical skills into the specific projects/companies operating in an emerging economy that has not only a fairly large (75m) and young population (domestic market) but also a Customs Union with the EU as well as access to rapidly developing new markets in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. The lectures by the instructor and guest lecturers will expose students to the Turkish economic, political and business environments while giving them a general understanding of the characteristics of an emerging market. Moreover, interaction with company representatives and locals will enable students to have a first-hand experience on the diversity of business culture, particularities of cross cultural communication and interpersonal relations. Students will work in smaller teams focusing on 3-4 specific projects that will be identified at a later stage.
Instructor: Abdullah Akyuz is currently the President of TUSIAD-US (Turkish Industry and Business Association’s US Rep Office), which he joined in 1999. Between 1983-1990, he served on the Capital Markets Board, the Turkish equivalent of the SEC, as an economist. In June 1990, he became the Director of the Bonds and Bills Market of the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE). In May 1994, he became the Executive Vice-Chairman of the ISE, overseeing the operations of several departments until his departure. He led the team which set up the world’s first “organized repo market” at the ISE, which soon became the largest organized financial market in Turkey. Mr. Akyuz has also served as a Board Member of the ISE-Settlement and Custody Bank, Inc., as well as a member of Treasury’s “Domestic Borrowing Advisory Board”. He has published numerous articles in the fields of Turkish economy, securities markets and US-Turkey relations. Abdullah Akyuz received his B.A. degree in Economics and Finance from the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Ankara (1983), his M.A. degree in Economics from the University of California-Davis (1986), and graduated from Wharton School’s Advanced Management Program (1996).
In this course, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities of SME growth and export strategies for developing countries by focusing on the specific case of Ghana. We will study key topics through both academic study (via cases, articles, lectures, and class discussions) and major hands-on projects that will be delivered to clients in Ghana.
Two project teams will work with the handicraft company, CraftPro (see Craftpro.org). One team will work on a marketing strategy for the US market; the other will analyze and make recommendations regarding a strategy that Craft-Pro uses to extend credit to its small handicraft producers.
Two teams will work with producers in the pineapple industry to analyze the prospects of moving into pineapple processing. Various processing techniques will be analyzed, including cutting fresh pineapple for sale in salad bars, canning, making juices, and processing to make dried fruit. One team will undertake a cost benefit analysis of these various options and consider issues of pricing and distribution for the most feasible options. The other team will focus on identifying sources of investment finance for the most feasible options.
Instructor: Professor Jennifer Spencer is the Coelho Professorial Fellow and Associate Professor of International Business and International Affairs at George Washington University’s School of Business. She is also the Director of the GW Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER). Professor Spencer teaches courses related to International Strategy and International Management. Her scholarly research focuses on multinational enterprises’ investments into developing countries, firms’ global technology strategies, and knowledge spillovers between firms. She is on the editorial review board of the Journal of International Business Studies and Academy of Management Review and has published articles in the top journals in management, strategy, and international business fields, including Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, and Journal of International Business Studies. Professor Spencer currently serves on the executive committee for the International Management division of the Academy of Management.
The Serbia IRP team is working with five agribusiness companies with operations headquartered throughout Serbia. These companies' food and related products include tea, fruit juice, condiments, agricultural seeds and charcuterie (processed meats). Activities will include research, evaluation and preparation of a competitive landscape overview, market and trends analysis, SWOT analysis and fully functional marketing plan. In addition, and once these research-based activities are complete, students will liaise with Serbia-based creative service providers to develop and implement initial stages of the tactical plan including trademark development, packaging, public relations, sales literature, advertising and trade show display.
Instructor: Professor Jeffrey Spear focuses his strategic and creative efforts upon FMCG brands (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) and caters to both consumer and trade audiences. While originally trained as a graphic designer, and still working as Creative Director for Studio Spear, Jeffrey has become fluent and works as Director of Strategic Planning for his organization.
Spear’s history includes a working presence in Los Angeles for fifteen years, Melbourne (Australia) for eight years, Baltimore for ten years and has recently relocated to Jacksonville, Florida. With numerous and ongoing consulting engagements with USAID (most recently Serbia, Russia and Montenegro) supporting economic growth in countries described as “emerging economies,” along with ongoing and active relationships with embassies, consulates, international trade offices and business support groups, Jeffrey is well positioned to help companies exploit growth potential.
Project Description: The Turkey IRP will focus on the financial sector in general, and the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) in particular. Turkey is one of the world’s fastest growing emerging economies in addition to being located in a geo-strategically highly sensitive region. Early in the new millennium, in the wake of the home grown 2000/01 crisis, Turkey has implemented its own macro economic and political reforms, reduced its high and volatile inflation considerably, and stabilized the business environment. Consequently, it has become a high-growth economy attracting significant amounts of FDIs. However, Turkey’s growth is primarily financed by external funds, be it long-term FDIs or short & medium-term financial flows, due to insufficient domestic financial savings. The ISE plays a crucial role in this process. The ISE management envisages increasing its role in the economy by broadening the investor base in securities markets and by improving its operational and administrative efficiency through demutualization. Also, the Turkish Government’s objective of making Istanbul an international financial center might contribute to ISE’s desire to enhance its funding capacity for the corporate sector. The course aims to understand the dynamics of an emerging economy and financial system as well as developing ideas on the four projects proposed by the ISE, our client.
Instructor: Abdullah Akyuz is currently the President of TUSIAD-US (Turkish Business Federation’s US Representative Office), which he joined in 1999. Between 1983-1990, he served on the Capital Markets Board, the Turkish equivalent of the SEC, as an economist. In June 1990, he became the Director of the newly established Bonds and Bills Market of the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE). In May 1994, he became the Executive Vice-Chairman of the ISE, overseeing the operations of several departments until his departure. He led the team which set up the world’s first “organized repo market” at the ISE, which soon became the largest organized financial market in Turkey. Mr. Akyuz has also served as a Board Member of the ISE-Settlement and Custody Bank, Inc., as well as a member of Treasury’s “Domestic Borrowing Advisory Board”. Abdullah Akyuz received his B.A. degree in Economics and Finance from the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Ankara (1983), his M.A. degree in Economics from the University of California-Davis (1986), and graduated from Wharton School’s Advanced Management Program (1996).
Project Description: “Vietnam - The Road from Outsourcing to Joint Ventures”
Two host companies this year are Morgan Stanley and Saigon Securities Inc (SSI). Morgan Stanley, one of the largest global securities companies, is interested in commercial and residential real estates in Vietnam. Students will learn, through work directly with Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing professionals, to understand the process of opportunity identification, financial/market analysis, and finally, investment process within a global real estate private equity business. SSI, one of the largest securities companies in Vietnam, is evaluating the opportunities of various financial products including exchange-traded funds and mutual funds to introduce to Vietnam markets. Students will provide research on the development of such financial products in the United States and other countries to help SSI investment team to evaluate the opportunities in Vietnam markets. Final projects will be presented in report format that will be used by senior investing professionals of the host companies. In addition, the group will visit other businesses in Vietnam such as Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, Bitexco (the tallest building in Vietnam), and will be staying at the New World Hotel, a 5-star hotel in HoChiMinh City.
Instructor: Nam D. Pham is Managing Partner of NDP Consulting Group, an economic consulting firm that specializes in assessing complex issues in finance, international trade, public policies and corporate business strategies. Clients of NDP Group include U.S. and foreign corporations, financial institutions, federal and local governments, trade associations, and multinational organizations. Prior to founding NDP Consulting Group in 2000, Dr. Pham was Vice President at Scudder Kemper Investments in Boston, where he was responsible for research, asset allocations, and currency hedging for Scudder’s global and international bond funds. Before that he was Chief Economist of the Asia Region for Standard & Poor’s DRI in Boston; an economist at the World Bank in Washington D.C.; and a consultant to both the Department of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission in Washington D.C. Dr. Pham is also adjunct professor at the George Washington University, where he teaches graduate courses in monetary economics, international trade and finance, macroeconomics, and microeconomics. Dr. Pham holds a Ph.D. in economics from the George Washington University, with concentrations in international trade and finance, economic development and applied microeconomics; an M.A. from Georgetown University; and a B.A. from the University of Maryland.