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MBA Students Engage in International Consulting through Center for International Business Education and Research

September 12, 2011
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MBA students gained firsthand consulting experience this summer through the University of Miami Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), which is based at the School of Business. The four-credit Global Business Project offered MBAs and other graduate students at 14 CIBER member universities the opportunity to produce strategic advice for companies in markets critical to U.S. competitiveness, and to increase their foreign language competency. Teams met in Washington, D.C. in the spring and worked virtually for eight weeks before traveling to Japan, Thailand and Brazil to conduct research and prepare for their final presentations to clients.

Aaron Newman, a second-year UM MBA student, worked on developing new marketing and social networking strategies for the Kobe Portopia Hotel in Japan. “I learned how to manage a remote team, organize recommendations into the McKinsey framework, collect first and secondary data and analyze the business to develop new strategies and action plans,” he says. “Participating in this program is definitely the highlight of my MBA career.”

Newman’s group suggested the hotel enhance its digital marketing through improved brand positioning on online travel agency sites and that it redesign its English site for increased consumer engagement and perception. 

“This is every business student’s dream,” said Niccole Pertierra, assistant director of the University of Miami CIBER. “Learning how a country operates culturally by conducting real-life consulting is a tremendous learning experience for students and a great way to make connections.”

Other UM MBA students participating in the program this year were Bianca Saltz and Stephanie Alvarado, who worked in Brazil, and  Yi Ji and Raisa Marrero, who worked in Thailand.

Other participating schools included: Columbia University, the University of Connecticut, Duke University, George Washington University, Georgia State University, Purdue University, San Diego State University, Temple University, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the University of Maryland, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The University of Miami CIBER was established in 2010 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and is one of 33 such centers across the country. The network aims to educate business students with language training and promote international understanding and competitiveness by sponsoring conferences and workshops on topics such as international financial reporting, business language and Latin American security challenges. The international exposure provided by CIBER positions students for leadership roles in international corporations while offering a new perspective on the global economy.

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