It is with mixed emotion that I share our decision, after ten successful and rewarding years, to discontinue the UW Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC).
Since we launched the competition, the social impact landscape has changed dramatically – there are more competitions like GSEC available to students worldwide, more students are expressing interest in the broader area of “global social enterprise” rather than “global social entrepreneurship”, sponsors continue to look for leading edge opportunities in which to invest, and business and employment opportunities are evolving.
As a result, we are developing new programs that will better meet current stakeholder needs for global social enterprise education.
We wouldn’t be at this pivotal point without the support of all of you as participants, volunteers, investors, mentors, judges and host families. Thank you for all that you have done for us these past 10 years! We look forward to sharing our new ideas with you in the coming months and hope that you will continue to partner with us on innovative business programs for global impact.
Director, Global Business Center
Michael G. Foster School of Business
University of Washington email@example.com
The nationally-ranked, award-winning Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) Program helps undergraduate Foster School students hone the competitive edge they need to succeed in global business. The CISB programs promotes a global mindset that leads to global employment opportunities by requiring international business coursework, study abroad, foreign language immersion, area studies coursework, and resources about global career pathways. In the last academic year, CISB students participated in several activities outside the classroom to make them better equipped to compete in the global business workforce.
In addition to academic coursework and language studies, CISB primes students with informational career panels about global business. In Fall 2013, CISB students attended an International Business Panel which featured professionals with established global business careers at Starbucks, Wells Fargo Bank, Slalom Consulting, and Port of Seattle. The panel provided insight into the realities of an international career and inspiring advice to those entering the workforce. CISB also hosted an Alumni career panel in which 12 CISB alumni shared how their CISB experiences helped shape and further their career. The panelists provided job search advice and examples of a typical day in their position.
CISB students also get hands on experience in networking for a global career. In spring quarter, over 100 CISB students participated in a “Speed Networking” event. In small teams, the students practiced their networking skills on global business executives. The executives included the Assistant Corporate Controller from Microsoft, theVP of Global Client Reporting from BlackRock and theInternational Buyer from Costco. Primed with their global business education and career pathways insight, the CISB students could then practice the art of networking for their career.
But results speak louder than any of these events. Sam Bokor, VP Training and Personnel Development at Expeditors International stated that “CISB students are a a good fit for Expeditors because of their passion for the international trade community and their curiosity around other cultures.” Visit our CISB Alumni highlights to see the array of global careers secured by CISB graduates.
I graduated from the Foster School in 2011, having studied marketing and Spanish and earning a Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB). Last year I decided to take the plunge and move to Chile, where I had studied abroad four years prior. Although I didn’t have a job lined up, my plan was to immediately begin networking with my U.S. and Chilean contacts as soon as I arrived in Santiago. I began to email everyone I knew back in the U.S. to let them know I had moved in the off-chance that someone might have a connection in Chile. Luckily my plan worked, and a contact from Microsoft put me in touch with the man who is now my boss here at Microsoft Chile. I applied for and was offered the position of customer marketing manager for the Small and Medium Business segment.
As a marketing manager for a sales team, I manage and execute Microsoft’s direct-to-consumer marketing campaigns and activities throughout Chile for companies below 250 PCs. Although it is challenging to work in a fast-paced environment in a foreign language, I recognize this job has provided significantly more responsibility and room for growth than an entry-level position I would have had in the U.S. I am very grateful to Foster and the CISB Program for the foreign language and networking skills they helped me develop, and I cannot recommend the experience of working abroad highly enough. To anyone considering a move abroad after graduation who would like to know more about my experience, please feel free to contact me at kemilygray at gmail dot com.
Guest post by Kelci Zile, Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) student
Erin Hollingshead and I, Kelsi Zile, were fortunate enough to visit the Lululemon headquarters in Vancouver, BC as a prize for our team winning the Certificate of International Studies in Business Foreign Market Strategy Project Competition held on February 13, 2014. The trip included a presentation of our proposal to the foreign expansion board at Lululemon consisting of Jessica Reigle, international specialist; Mary Pittman, international e-commerce manager; Tina Sarazin, brand creative & translation manager; Brooke Harley, international business development director; Sairah Hearn, global social media manager; and Mila Rusimovich, international community. Erin and I were very thankful we came prepared and were able to successfully answer the multitude of in-depth questions they had.
After our presentation we asked the board about their positions, biggest challenges and what they predict for the future. Not only was this an incredible learning experience, it was great to see how a board like this functions as a team. After the presentation we were given a tour of the facility by CISB alumna Nancy Richardson. One of our favorite parts of the tour was seeing their massive HR department, or what they call the people potential department. Their department is 500% larger than the average HR department. Lululemon truly understands the value of human capital. This is a progressing trend in business, and both Erin and I were glad to see that Lululemon has seen great success with this management style.
Following the tour we took a yoga class with Nancy and then had dinner with the rest of the board. At dinner Erin and I had a chance to ask real-life questions. The group was inspiring and pushed Erin and me to follow our hearts in everything we do. They understand that following your passion is the only true way to find happiness in a career. Erin and I returned to Seattle with increased drive, vision and enhanced presentation skills. This was an amazing trip and we are extremely grateful to not only have gained these business skills, but to also have met a group of inspiring people.
The Certificate of International Studies in Business is a rigorous, integrative academic supplement to the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Through study abroad, foreign language immersion and area studies coursework, CISB students are equipped to meet the challenges facing business leaders in today’s global economy.
Foster undergraduate student Wilson Carletti was recently awarded a Bonderman Travel Fellowship which will enable him to travel solo for eight months and visit at least two regions and six countries around the world. Carletti was one of fourteen UW students to receive the fellowship worth $20,000.
Carletti grew up in Seattle and is preparing to graduate in June with an undergraduate degree in finance from the Foster School. He plans to leave for his eight-month adventure sometime in September or early October and will travel to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Antarctica, Argentina and South Africa. He first heard about the fellowship as a freshman through the Honors Program. After studying abroad in Italy and Spain for a summer and participating in an Exploration Seminar to China, he knew he wanted to travel more.
His travel objectives are to appreciate the natural beauty of these places, engage in dialogue with local communities, and participate in sports to learn to understand their role in the lives of other peoples and cultures of South America and South Africa. He is also interested in improving his Spanish while he’s in South America. And he’s visiting Antarctica because he has always wanted to visit all seven continents. He said, “I also want to use the opportunity to focus on one of my passions: writing. I want to write about my experiences, as a mode of self-reflection and documentation for others, and to hone my art of storytelling.” He said he started his blog before his first study abroad trip and found it helped him view his experiences differently, especially as he documented them for others.
He expects the most challenging aspect of this trip to be the long periods of solitude. Venturing out of the Puget Sound for eight months will also be an adjustment, but it’s one he’s looking forward to.
When Carletti returns, he’ll pursue a master’s degree in human centered design at UW. His ultimate goal is to combine his business education with startups and writing. His advice to current students, “Study abroad if you can. Seek out those opportunities that expose you to other parts of the world.”
The Bonderman Travel Fellows were established in 1995. The aim is to expose students to the intrinsic, often life-changing benefits of international travel. While traveling, students may not pursue academic study, projects or research. UW graduate students, professional students and undergraduate students are eligible to apply. In total, 207 UW students—127 undergraduate and 80 graduate and professional students—have been named Bonderman Fellows, including the 2014 fellows. Look for future blog posts from Carletti next year as he shares his journey with us on the Foster Blog.
Four students representing four different universities and three continents made up the ‘Global Team’ that took home the trophy in the 16th annual Global Business Case Competition (GBCC) on Saturday, April 12th.
Each of the twelve student teams that competed in GBCC spent 48 hours analyzing a business case on Nike’s sustainability and labor practices. The students were asked to identify three countries where Nike should shift its production. Teams had to justify their choices by explaining the advantages and tradeoffs of candidate countries in terms of sustainability and labor practices, as well as costs and other competitive factors. They also had to address ways in which Nike could implement traceability of its supply chain for collegiate apparel.
Of the four teams selected to move on to the final round, the judges chose the ‘Global Team’ as this year’s Champion. Unlike the other competing teams who came from just one university, the ‘Global Team’ was made up of one student from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Florida State University, NHH Norwegian School of Economics, and the University of Washington. They met for the first time just days before their final presentation.
Multicultural teams are now a reality of both the classroom and the professional environment. The Global Business Center began the ‘Global Team’ tradition eight years ago to bring students from around the world together to work as a team. The judges said that the team’s final presentation clearly benefitted from their diverse backgrounds and experiences. In eight years, the Global Team has placed in the finals four times, and now they are GBCC Champions!
The Global Business Center would like to acknowledge the hard work of our GBCC Student Leadership Team who spent countless hours organizing this event. Co-chairs Lisa Dang and Connor Harle were exceptional leaders for over 100 students that were involved this year.
Finally, GBCC would not be possible without our major corporate sponsors: The Boeing Company, Costco Wholesale, F5 Networks, Fluke Danaher Corporation, Russell Investments, Starbucks Coffee International, and Wells Fargo.
“GSEC gets to the noble purpose of business.” – Dean James Jiambalvo
Every year, the UW Foster School of Business holds the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC), an international social enterprise competition at which students from around the world present business solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges—poverty, health and development. The 10th annual GSEC brought in more than 160 entries from university teams spanning 37 counties.
The competition, hosted by the Foster School’s Global Business Center, featured 19 semi-finalist teams from Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Uganda and the U.S.—including two UW teams—competing in Seattle for $40,000 in prizes. This year’s winners were announced at a celebration dinner on February 27, 2014.
Grand Prize, Fargreen- Colorado State University, USA
Fargreen uses zero waste farming technology to convert rice straw waste into a product that can be used for mushroom farming and the production of bio fertilizers in Vietnam. This model prevents farmers from burning waste and releasing greenhouse gases into the air while also allowing farmers to diversify their crop yields and gain additional income from mushroom farming. (Sponsored by Microsoft and Seattle International Foundation)
2nd Place Prize, Bhitti, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Bhitti utilizes sugarcane bagasse, an agricultural by-product, to manufacture environmentally friendly, affordable and sustainable materials for construction. These materials can be used to build sturdier housing options in Bangladesh that may offer protection from natural disasters. Bhitti products require less energy consumption and leave a zero carbon footprint. (Sponsored by Global Business Center)
Global Health Prize, AYUDA Food Aid, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines
AYUDA Food Aid is a nutrition-dense ready to eat compressed food bar that is intended for victims of natural disaster in the Philippines. AYUDA is a good source of energy, protein, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients typically lacking in most disaster relief goods such as instant noodles and canned foods. AYUDA Food Aid focuses on sustainable development by sourcing raw materials from local growers while compensating them at fair trade prices. (Sponsored by UW Department of Global Health)
The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) E-Team Award went to Nanaoly Bioscience of University of Colorado. Nanoly Bioscience aims to eliminate the need for vaccine refrigeration with a nano-sized polymer that stabilizes vaccines and other temperature sensitive medicines so that vaccines may be safely and effectively delivered at a low cost anywhere in the world. This prize provides up to $5,000 in travel support to a three-day E-Team program workshop. Sponsored by The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA)
Seattle Rotary and University District Rotary awarded $2,500 in prize money to AYUDA Food Aid for receiving the highest Social Impact score from preliminary round judges.
At the Celebration Dinner and Awards Banquet, the room buzzed with excitement and passion. Arun Gore, keynote speaker and CEO of Gray Ghost Ventures, noted the infectious spirit in the room. He commended each of the teams for their hard work and encouraged them to continue to pursue their dream.
Grand Prize Winner, Fargreen, has no plans to let grass grow under their mushroom farmers’ feet. “We plan to use the prize money to build our first mushroom facilities for ten farmers who already signed up to be in our network,” said Tran. “The construction and production will happen this summer.”
Guest post by Sten Karlholm, Foster senior and Certificate of International Studies in Business student
My education seems to have taken the scenic tour, as my passion for traveling combined with my studies opened up opportunities and happily postponed my graduation. The journey all began while finishing my third year at UW, which I spent as an exchange student in Uppsala, Sweden as part of the Certificate of International Studies in Business Program (CISB). I had accomplished many of the requirements during this study abroad year, but there was one last challenge I was looking to complete during the summer: the International Business Practicum. It was mid-June and I had been applying and seeking out internships in Sweden for the past two months to no avail. As the long days of the Swedish summer began to come into full effect, there was a sense of anxiousness and uncertainty. I began preparing for the expectation of autumn quarter and flight back to Seattle. I had applied to one job on a whim, with the tag line “Passion for sports.” I had emphasized my passion for the game of basketball and my affinity with golf in my cover letter. After a telephone interview and my first ever sit down interview conducted in Swedish, I was offered a job as part of the opening team for a new Nike Factory Store in Stockholm.
I accepted this opportunity to further my proficiency of the Swedish language and master the fundamentals of Nike in the retail setting. I was dedicated to showing a high level of commitment on the job, tackling the unfamiliar terms of shoe specifics in Swedish while giving the best customer support. Recognition came my way as I took over further responsibilities like closing the store, accounting and submitting daily sales reports.
Nearly a year had gone by and it was time to continue my studies at the Michael G. Foster School of Business. This period away gave me the time to reflect on what I wanted to aim for within a future career, and influenced and ignited my passion for fashion and sports. With this goal in mind, it motivated me to keep looking for opportunities and ultimately led me to where I am today as the product management intern for Club and Balls within Nike Golf at the European Headquarters in Hilversum, The Netherlands.
Keeping up the pursuit of acquiring an international internship paid off as I have now spent seven months learning the ins and outs of Nike and the European marketplace. Every day I am conducting competitor analysis of the club and ball market for various regions and currencies in Europe. I’ve also been an integral part of updating pricing and catalogs for our recently released Covert 2.0 and upcoming RZN golf ball. I was even presented the chance to assist in the set up and lead the tear down at the Nordic Golf Trade show in Sweden due to my language proficiency. Not only was this a phenomenal experience as an intern, but as a result of my abilities I was selected to help out during our go-to-market sales meeting in Spain.
I had finally achieved the goal of receiving an international internship, but the experience is so much more than ticking a box for completion. The lessons learned and experience gained will be invaluable as I continue to pursue a career within international business. I am truly grateful for the opportunities that I’ve received and the support from my peers and colleagues along the way.
Sometimes a very simple idea can have a great impact. Case-in-point: Krochet Kids intl. is turning yarn and crochet hook into tools for social change.
When Kohl Crecelius, CEO of KKi, decided to enter his company in the UW Business Plan Competition in 2006, he wasn’t sure how his business model would be received. In short, KKi planned to pay Ugandan women a fair wage to crochet hats for sale in the United States, believing that the profits would fund KKi’s operations and the employment would provide women with the resources to rise out of poverty. Crecelius knew that KKi’s model was different than most companies in the BPC, and while mission-driven organizations in the competition were not unheard of, he wasn’t sure how the judges would react. “We half expected people to tell us we were crazy for trying to start a business in Africa,” he recalls. “We expected them to tell us we didn’t know what we were doing.”
As it turned out, he needn’t have worried. KKi was awarded the Best Social Innovation prize and received extremely positive feedback from judges. “The BPC was very affirming,” says Crecelius, explaining that it was encouraging to see KKi’s nonprofit business model embraced by experienced entrepreneurs. One judge’s feedback sticks with him to this day. “He told us our idea was lightning in a bottle,” he remembers.
Electrifying isn’t a bad way to describe KKi. The company has certainly set out to light the world on fire. A bit dramatic? Maybe. But it has already changed lives for the better, and developed into a successful brand to boot.
In 2007 Crecelius and his co-founders Stewart Ramsey and Travis Hartanov set up shop in Northern Uganda, home to thousands living in permanent refugee camps. They started small, teaching 10 Ugandan women how to crochet hats, then selling those hats online. It wasn’t long before things took off. Today KKi has expanded its presence in Uganda and opened a location in Peru. KKi hats are sold in Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, and Zumiez, and worn by everyone from trendy toddlers to A-list celebrities. KKi has been profiled by the New York Times, won a $500K grant from the American Giving Awards, and brought in over $1.5 million in product sales in 2012.
Much of this success can be attributed to the founders’ business backgrounds. “We look different than 99 out of 100 nonprofits,” says Crecelius. “In any given year, more than 80 percent of our revenue comes from the sale of product. We are very business minded, which I think lends to our ability to be successful in the long term.”
But Crecelius’ proudest accomplishments have little to do with revenue. They have to do with the organization’s social impact. KKi currently employs 160 women in Uganda and Peru—women who have experienced war, abuse, and the daily struggles of poverty. Women employed by KKi benefit from a reliable income, to be sure, but also from an extensive education curriculum and one-on-one mentoring from social workers. When their three years with KKi comes to an end, these women will have the skills and savings to continue their studies, buy a piece of land, or start their own business.
“The ultimate goal, says Crecelius, “is that these women will find careers and opportunities independent from KKi. We want to be the catalyst for people to realize their own dreams for the future.”
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