Category Archives: Global Business

3 teams win high honors for global solutions to poverty

gsec-nuruGrand Prize of $10,000

The 2010 Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition winning team was Nuru Light, also winner of the People’s Choice Award and Investor’s Choice Award, for their affordable, clean, safe alternative to kerosene as a light source in Rwanda. Nuru lights can be recharged quickly via the world’s first pedal generator. Team Nuru consists of students from Adventist University of Central Africa and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Photo (L-R): Charles Ishimwe, Bill Gates, Sr., Max Fraden

 

gsec-touchhbGlobal Health Grand Prize of $5,000

UW Global Health’s largest prize went to TouchHb, an affordable, prick-less anemia scanner used by low-skilled village health workers in rural India that measures, helps diagnose, monitors and screens for anemia. Team TouchHb consists of two doctors from the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences.

 

 

 

gsec-maloJudges’ Choice Prize of $3,000

Judges this year created a spontaneous award and personally pitched in a total of $3,000 for an on-the-fly Judges’ Choice Award which went to Malo Traders for their business plan that provides technological consultation that minimizes risks of post-harvest losses for small-scale rice farmers in Mali. Team Malo consists of two brothers who grew up in Africa and are now pursuing degrees—one is a PhD student in political science at Purdue University and the other a business student at Temple University.

The Global Business Center at the UW Foster School of Business puts on the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition each year – when international student teams are coached, critiqued and judged by Seattle-area business leaders. A record number of applicants (161) from around the world applied for the 6th annual event with innovative ideas to help solve global poverty. Watch the video.

Nuru wins People’s Choice Award at Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition

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University of Washington Foster School’s Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition is underway this week and 11 semi-finalist teams are competing for a chance to win over judges and beat out other innovative business ideas to combat global poverty.

At a trade show this week, the People’s Choice Award went to a team with an idea called “Nuru Light: a Solution to Africa’s Lighting Crisis” which provides affordable, renewable, clean lighting to replace kerosene in households. One of the team members traveled outside of Rwanda for the first time in his life to pitch this business idea along with a medical student from Massachusetts Medical School.

Winners will announced at tonight’s GSEC Award’s Ceremony which will also feature keynote speaker Bill Gates, Sr.

Good luck to the 11 teams and 5 finalist teams – part of a record-breaking number of applicants who chose to solve poverty with business innovations.

Faculty podcasts: Brands that die and merger research

Two UW Foster School of Business faculty members gave lectures this week on research relevant to the financial crisis and our current economy: Brands that die and mergers & acquisitions. Missed the lectures? Listen to these 20-minute audio recordings.

Shailendra_JainMarketing Professor Shailendra Jain discusses groundbreaking research on consumer responses to brands that die—brand loyalty, weak vs. strong brands and PR backlash when brands are eliminated. Jain recommends managers should consider which are high or low priority brands, whether or not to add more brands, which brands to eliminate and how to do so effectively.
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Jarrad_HarfordFinance Professor Jarrad Harford gave an overview of 30 years of merger & acquisition research. Do buying or selling companies benefit from a merger? How successful are mergers & acquisitions over the long run? How much do CEOs vs. shareholders and investors gain or lose? Some results show that when mergers destroy stock value, CEOs still get wealthier.
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These lectures are part of Leaders to Legends Breakfast Lecture Series, an opportunity for business leaders and faculty to share insights about current business topics and trends with other business leaders, alumni, students and the Foster School community.

Boeing’s Dreamliner – friend or foe of US business?

UW Foster School of Business Professor Dick Nolan guest blogged for the Harvard Business Review about the dark side of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner engineering and manufacturing feat – outsourcing of intellectual capital to Asia. Here is an excerpt from his recent post:

On Dec. 15, after two-and-a-half years of teeth-gnashing problems and delays that cost Boeing more than $10 billion in contractual penalties, the 787 Dreamliner completed its maiden flight, making aviation history in more ways than one.

With its new composite skin and sculptured structure, it is the most technologically advanced commercial airplane ever. Offering a lighter but stronger and more aerodynamic structure, the 787 is designed to be quieter and more fuel-efficient than other commercial jets, allowing carriers to bypass hubs and whisk many more passengers point to point cheaper, faster, and with new levels of in-flight comfort. After announcing the Dreamliner, Boeing booked a huge number of advanced orders for the plane (nearly 1,000), curtailing to a slow crawl new orders for rival Airbus’s giant 380 plane.

But there’s a dark side to this story. In trying to keep down Airbus, Boeing may be creating a much more dangerous competitor, one that likely will come from Japan, China, or India — countries that will own the markets for new airplanes in the near future and are in various stages of building their own commercial-airplane-manufacturing industries.

Read Professor Nolan’s full blog article at Harvard Business Review: “Is Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner a Triumph or Folly?” Professor Nolan argues that the extensive outsourcing by Boeing to build the Dreamliner airplane could lead to increased competition in Asia. What do you think?

Dean travels to Asia to expand global business leadership

Traveling abroad may sound exotic, but this one-week, December trip was all work, no play. Despite spending nearly 50 hours at airports and inside airplanes, the experience in Asia was exhilarating.

Beijing, China

We began in Beijing visiting some of the largest banks in China—including Bank of China, China Minsheng Bank, Industrial Commercial Bank of China, and Agricultural Bank of China. Leveraging contacts from the University of Washington Foster School Advisory Board, these meetings led to renewed support of Executive Education programs for global leadership development.

 

CIMG0470Taipei, Taiwan, ROC

In Taipei, Dean Jim Jiambalvo gave a keynote presentation titled “Five Keys to Sustained Innovation” to 250 business and government leaders of Taiwan as well as alumni of the joint program between Foster’s Executive Education and National Chengchi University. We also met with one of our distinguished alumni, Mr. Leslie Koo (BA 1977), chairman and CEO of Taiwan Cement. Mr. Koo continues to stay engaged with the Foster School and recently accepted an invitation to join Foster’s advisory board and donated to the School with a naming gift for a new computer lab in Paccar Hall (opening fall 2010).

Photo: Foster School Dean Jiambalvo and Associate Dean Dan Turner

CIMG0407Seoul, South Korea

In Seoul, the Foster School has strong ties with businesses, government, and universities, in part, because of the active involvement of our long-standing University of Washington Alumni Association. Of the 600 UW alumni in Korea, 130 are Foster School of Business alumni. We have continued to stay connected with the Korean business community and these relationships have led to children of UW alumni becoming Foster alumni, financial support to both the UW and Foster School, research connections for Foster faculty, and new partnerships in Executive Education.

Photo: Korean alumni and government leaders with Dean Jiambalvo (second from left) and Jean Choy (far right)

The Foster School is committed to expanding our global ties, especially in Asia. Key leaders of Foster travel on a regular basis to cultivate existing and new business partnerships. Over the years, these efforts have resulted in significant financial investments in education to support Foster students and faculty, as well as connections with influential leaders around the globe.

By Jean Choy, assistant dean of executive education and international initiatives at UW Foster School of Business

Foster undergrads place 3rd in Spanish Business Case Competition

BYU competition 2009A team of three UW Foster School of Business undergraduates placed third in the second annual Spanish Language Business Case Competition at Brigham Young University in Utah on November 13, 2009 – the only one of its kind in the US. Both business knowledge and mastery of a second language were tested for each participant.

Britten Ferguson, Alex Fitch and Taylor Sloane recommended strategies for Walmart’s international expansion. The case, the presentation and the Q&A with judges were all in Spanish, which is a second language for these students. The team presented to panels of corporate and faculty judges in two preliminary rounds.  The top three teams, representing Indiana University, Utah State University and the University of Washington, went on to the final round.

Alex Fitch, Certificate for International Studies in Business student organization president, said, “In using my Spanish language skills in this competition, I gained confidence in the prospect of doing business in Spanish in the future.”

Study abroad photo contest winners: Spain, South Africa, India

Every year a fresh batch of University of Washington Foster School of Business students embark on trips across the globe to study or work abroad, absorb a language, fortify their business studies and explore other cultures. Each student comes away with something different. The Global Business Center third annual study abroad photo contest for undergraduates and MBAs captures a snapshot of the Foster student experience. 2009 was a particularly close race and judges consisted of more than 30 Foster faculty and staff. Winners are:

FIRST PLACE: Darcy Llyod, undergrad – Cadiz, Spain study trip

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Title: Desert Caravan
Location of photo: Somewhere in the Moroccan desert

Caption: After a night spent camping in the Moroccan desert, our trusty camels left us to finish our tour by van. A bit more comfortable, but much less interesting. 

Experience abroad: I spent 9 months in southern Spain last year. During this time I got a real taste for the Spanish culture, but probably the most amazing part of the whole experience was the chance I had to travel all throughout Europe and even down into Morocco. Seeing the differences in cultures was and eye-opening experience that I won’t soon forget.

 

 

SECOND PLACE: Jonah Peters, undergrad – Cape Town, South Africa study trip

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Title: On Top of the Bottom of the World
Location of photo: On top of Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town with the South Atlantic Ocean in the background

Caption: Perhaps I should have purchased the UW Student Insurance Plan…

Experience abroad: My program in Cape Town, South Africa had two components. The CHID curriculum examined social movements surrounding apartheid, through the scope of hip-hop music and other forms of activism. Our program allowed us to build relationships with local NGOs and other international organizations that promote, among other things, a healthy dialogue surrounding social issues in the wake of apartheid. The program also allowed me to complete a “community engagement” project, where I single-handedly taught economics to a class of 10th graders at a severely underfunded public school in one of the townships in the Cape Flats.

THIRD PLACE: Yan To, undergrad – India study trip

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Title: Simply Saris
Location of photo: Bangalore, India

Caption: University of Washington students touring a village near Bangalore interacted with rural families in India who received land ownership. Rural Development Institute works to secure land access and improve land rights to the rural poor, women, and other marginalized groups.

Experience abroad: India is truly a land of extreme contrasts and is unlike any other place I have ever been. I had the unique opportunity to learn about both sides of India; the flourishing as well as the developing country. Upon arriving in India, I was overwhelmed with sights, smells, and sounds of the city. It contains the best and the worst all in one place. While the twenty-first century embraces democracy, remnants of the 19th century still survive in Indian society. Amidst the enormous wealth, the severity of poverty is apparent. Just outside our hotel gates, we saw families living in makeshift homes. Everywhere you look, there is evidence of magnificent accomplishment mixed in with a harsh dose of reality in which most people live.

Keynote speaker: Carrie Pederson

Carrie PedersonMcGowan Scholar Stands Out in Almost Any Crowd

You could say Carrie Pederson has a way of standing out in a crowd, but not simply because she’s 6-foot-3. The 31-year-old already has nearly a decade of international business experience under her belt and speaks Mandarin fluently thanks to the time she’s spent working with Chinese and Taiwanese businesses.

After spending her junior year of college in Taiwan and China as an exchange student, she returned after graduation to develop her Chinese language skills. Pederson says that living and interacting with the locals for so long made a huge difference in how quickly she was able to assimilate into the local lifestyle and business culture.

“I always knew I wanted to work abroad after experiencing life overseas,” she recalls. “But I also knew that if I wanted to continue in the business world, I’d need to get an MBA.”

Taiwan business ventures

That notion became apparent through her business experience in Taiwan. Starting in 2001, Pederson worked as a special consultant for the Council of Forest Industries where she helped facilitate business development for the Canadian lumber industry, including regulatory issues, training and promotion. At the same time she helped establish “Language Canada,” a Taipei company providing North American-style ESL classes. She led the expansion of operations—including administration, marketing, customer service, human resources and program development. These experiences spurred her back to academia to further her professional growth.

“Because I have spent most of my adult life in Taiwan, I often process things from more of a Chinese perspective without realizing it,” Pederson explains. “After being away for nine years, adjusting to life here and going through ‘reverse culture shock’ took much more energy and time then I anticipated!”

From Chinese life to student life

Working to get the most of her education leaves her little time for hobbies outside of trying to find the best Chinese restaurants in the Emerald City. But she does pack her days with extra-curriculars that enhance her classroom learning. Pederson served as co-chair of last year’s UW Business Plan Competition and attends internationally focused events and conferences as often as possible. She’s currently working with the Seattle School District and community business leaders to help expand international education in local schools.

So it comes as no surprise that she was named a 2007-08 McGowan Scholar. Pederson is the third-straight UW MBA to receive this prestigious bursary named after and funded by William G. McGowan, the late founder of MCI Communications and catalyst of telecommunications deregulation. Each year, the McGowan Charitable Fund awards scholarships to a select group of management students who exhibit extraordinary leadership, academic achievement, character, entrepreneurship and commitment to the community.

Pederson and her MBA teammates recently won the first-ever Chinese international case competition on January 5, 2008 in Beijing for creating a re-branding strategy for Tsingtao Beer to increase its American market share by targeting Generation Y consumers.

Upon graduating in 2008, Pederson says she’d like to focus on helping companies enter the China market, and is confident that her time spent living there, coupled with the knowledge she is acquiring in the Foster MBA Program, will pay dividends. “I not only plan to help facilitate more trade and business between Seattle and China but also hope to help create an even stronger global awareness and mind-set in Seattle and Washington state, where our economy is so dependent on international trade.”

Mentor program connects students to work world

Repurposed from a 2007 newsletter from the Certificate of International Studies in Business

CISB 2007 mentor photoFifteen Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) students received support and advice from professionals in the business world this year through the pilot Business Mentoring Connections Program. Mentors from Microsoft, Boeing, SanMar, Deloitte Consulting, KPMG, Accenture, Expeditors, Washington Mutual, Tran Law Firm, Ballard Travel and Cruise Consultants, and Lowell Elementary School shared their expertise and offered career guidance while benefiting from the chance to practice their coaching skills.

“The program does a great job of connecting education to the work world,” according to one student. Mentors were equally enthusiastic, saying, “this kind of program develops skills that are crucial to managers: listening, patience and developing the overall person rather than just focusing on their potential job”, and “we have worked a lot on professionalism, networking and communication skills; these are key aspects of transitioning successfully into the business world.”

Business School alumna Margaret Xu, ’03, will join Nishika de Rosairo in co-managing the program in 2008. CISB alumna and co-founder of BMeC, Anne Sackville-West, ‘03, will be moving to the San Francisco Bay Area and will stay involved with the program in an advisory capacity.

Associate Dean Steve Sefcik says, “we’re thrilled to have the involvement of dedicated mentors who care so much about helping our CISB students succeed.” The program will continue in 2007-2008, thanks to the support of the UW Business School Undergraduate Program office.

Learn more about the Certificate of International Studies in Business.

Alumni mentoring

Life as a college student can be fraught with uncertainty about the future. And who better to understand the angst of a student than a former one?

AlumniMentoring

It was that empathy with the mental mindset of the undergrad that prompted two former Foster students to launch a mentoring program.

“A student’s life is so brittle,” Nishika de Rosairo says. “They are at the point where even the most confident harbor insecurities about their careers and life in general. But having a mentor to aspire to, or who can just help guide them through that process, is an incredible advantage.”

With this in mind, de Rosairo and Anne Sackville-West (BA 2002) launched a mentorship program in 2006 for undergraduate students working toward the Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB). Anne has since moved away, and now Brian Wright helps Nishika run the program.

The program matches students with a young professional, someone who can still recall what it’s like to be an undergrad. “Most mentors have graduated within the past one to seven years so they’re more connected to what it’s like to be a student and enter the corporate world–a world quite different from what the students know,” says Nishika.

Each mentor takes a student under his or her wing for a year, providing counsel on career and life development. The benefits for the student are obvious: confidence, information, support, insight and more. And the mentor benefits too.

Mentoring improves leadership skills, and “today’s business world is demanding leaders who are well rounded and equipped to develop our talent of the future,” says Nishika.

Mentors also learn important skills such as effective listening and questioning, and how to provide constructive feedback. “For a lot of us, the hardest thing is to learn how to manage and develop people. Mentoring gives us an opportunity to improve our people management skills,” says Margaret.

Mentoring also keeps alumni connected to Foster, a prestigious business school. It provides an opportunity to network with other young professionals with similar interests. And mentoring is a fulfilling way to give back to Foster, to help nurture the next generation of business leaders while nurturing one’s own career development.  For more information, contact CISB at cisb@uw.edu.