Despite being a person who really enjoys traveling and who has seen a fair amount of Europe, I realized this year that I haven’t seen any of the United States besides the Midwest. I’ve never been to either coast (besides Florida, but you don’t normally think of that as East Coast). Then this year, I got the chance to go to Boston. I was asked to be a part of a team that was representing the University of Oklahoma at the Consortium for Undergraduate International Business Education (CUIBE). CUIBE is an international business case competition. My three teammates and I would get a case involving some international business matter and would have twenty four hours to come up with a solution for the case, and then would present our findings the next morning.
This competition was so cool!!! The case that we analyzed dealt with different cultures, it dealt with expansion into different countries, it dealt with sales and marketing, and it dealt with financial analysis – this was everything that I learned in business school and was an actual application of those principles. This was a solid affirmation that I really liked what I was doing.
The part of the case that I mainly handled was dealing with the cultural implications of international expansion: how we would market our product in rural India and then take our product and market that product in other countries. In order to make international expansion easier, we wanted to analyze the cultural factors of rural India, figure out a marketing technique that worked with those cultural factors, and then find cultures elsewhere with those same cultural factors so that we could more easily replicate that marketing technique. This would mean that instead of creating a whole new marketing technique in order to expand into new countries, we would be able to take the same marketing strategy and simply tweak it depending on the country that we were in. For the presentation, we presented three countries with similar features: Brazil, South Africa, and China. They all had large populations who needed our product who were highly community-based and had a large presence of an organization with whom we were “planning” on partnering.
I can’t tell you how thankful I was for this competition. I got to work with an awesome team, represent the best university in the States, apply all of the principles that I had learned, and I enjoyed all of it, which validated my career choice.