Each year at Haas, 70+ students participate in the International Business Development (IBD) program run by the Clausen Center for International Business & Policy. While IBD is broadly regarded as an academic course, it is actually much more of an experiential learning experience. Student teams are assembled and matched with a client abroad. Clients include non-profit organizations in need of a business plan, tourism agencies examining potential revenue streams, governments looking to attract new business, and multinationals interested in untapped markets.
Over the course of this semester, those of us in the IBD program have worked to get to know our teammates, clients, and the subject area of our project. Flexibility is a necessity for participation, due to the fact that teams are assigned by the program office, clients can drop out, and project scope frequently changes. But in my opinion, that is the nature of doing business abroad (especially in emerging markets) and flexibility is incredibly important.
I’m looking forward to writing more about my IBD assignment (in El Salvador) in the coming month. And many of the Global Initiatives Summer Bloggers will be doing the same. Since most of us will be departing within the next week, I’d like to wish everyone “safe travels!”