An inaugural run of the International Business Development Practicum, a faculty-led study abroad program for MBA students from the Fowler College of Business, San Diego State University (SDSU), has successfully concluded on Wednesday 2 August 2018.
An inaugural run of the International Business Development Practicum, a faculty-led study abroad program for MBA students from the Fowler College of Business, San Diego State University (SDSU), has successfully concluded on Wednesday 2 August 2018. The consulting project aimed at market research and potential modes of entry to US market was developed for a Belgian multinational company La Lorraine Bakery Group by a team of five MBA students from the Fowler College SDSU and two graduate students from the Faculty of Economics and Management, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (FEM CULS).
The International Business Program at Fowler College SDSU has been consistently ranked among the top 15 programs in the United States. The project was a central part of an MBA course BA 795 - International Business Development Practicum. The course was co-developed and taught by Prof. Martina Musteen, Faculty Director of SDSU CIBER and Dr. Milos Ulman, Assistant Professor at the Department of Information Technologies and Co-Director of CENDAI. A central role in organization and logistics had Mr. Martin Kozak, Dr. Oldrich Vylupek and Dr. Jan Hucko from the International Relations Office FEM CULS Prague. A special thanks to Dr. Vlastimil Cerny, MA, former Head of the International Relations Office FEM CULS Prague who was also a key person in promoting the program, and Dr. Oldrich Ludwig Dittrich who provided his input on the project outline.
During the on-site visit between 13 and 18 May 2018 in Prague, students went through an intensive program consisting of professional and cultural visits, a number of lectures from guest speakers from business and academia, and joint working sessions. A major highlight of the professional part of the program was a full-day visit to the La Lorraine Bakery Group premises in Kladno. The participants got a deep insight into client’s business during a tour to the production hall, lectures on the company product lines, bake-off techniques, product tasting and business strategy. Another tour to several retail stores and shopping malls featuring some of the major customers of La Lorraine Bakery Group allowed for a deeper understanding of the company approach to sales and marketing.
Based on the collected information and consultations with the client’s representative and Regional Director, Mr. Josef Laska, the student team conducted a detailed study including a high-level overview of the US bakery products industry, questionnaire survey and taste test with potential consumers, and several interviews with industry representatives in the US and Mexico. As a result, the team analyzed and proposed market entry opportunities for the client and presented the project deliverables at the final presentation in San Diego, California. The students experienced a truly international collaboration on a real-world business assignment.
The consulting project offers a unique opportunity for Czech companies or companies operating in the Czech Republic considering expansion to the US market to get a practical insight, obtain an actionable plan with recommendations and create lasting relationships in one of the most dynamic regions in the world. For more information, please contact Dr. Milos Ulman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Prof. Martina Musteen (email@example.com).