Category Archives: Global Business

Meet the GBCC 2015 Student Leadership Team

2015 Endeavor Statement: We want to run the world’s best global business case competition for undergraduate business student competitors and UW organizers through active participation by the Foster Undergraduate Community, in order to create memorable experiences while promoting student leadership and cross-cultural interaction. 

Davis BrownGBCC Co-Chair: Davis Brown is a senior at the Foster school studying Finance. He is globally minded and is always looking for any way to get involved in international business or culture. Last year he had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Germany for 5 months. While in Europe he had the chance to visit many different countries, but he loved the culture of Barcelona, Spain and the amazing city life of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Davis hopes to one day work internationally and have the opportunity to improve his foreign language skills. Outside of the classroom, Davis enjoys exploring new areas in and outside Seattle, going to concerts, and searching for the best desserts in Seattle. He is extremely excited to be co-leading GBCC this year and cannot wait for the competition week to begin.

Marina OldfinGBCC Co-Chair: Marina Oldfin is a senior majoring in Information Systems, Operations & Supply Chain Management, and a Certificate in international Studies in Business (German Track). She recently studied abroad this last Spring quarter in Vienna, Austria.  It was an absolutely amazing experience studying abroad – and she made many new connections! She would love to visit Vienna again, but also travel to other places I have yet to go to. Marina is very excited to be a Co-Chair for GBCC this year and hopes to make it a memorable experience for everyone.

Carlie3GBCC Activities Manager: Carlie Anderson is a junior pursuing a degree in Business Administration at the Foster School, as well as a degree in Public Health. She hopes to apply these degrees in the future towards doing non-profit management abroad. She was lucky enough to study abroad in India, where she enjoyed riding elephants, seeing the Taj Mahal, doing laughter yoga and meeting inspiring individuals invested in social entrepreneurship. She has also traveled to Japan were she got to visit Hiroshima and try all kinds of exotic types of fish. In the Netherlands, she enjoyed biking at sunset along the canals. She is particularly interested in women in leadership and hopes to study women who are making change elsewhere in the world. Besides traveling, Carlie enjoys dancing, skiing and spending time with friends. She is super excited for the opportunity to be a part of GBCC this year!

Bonnie2GBCC Activities Manager: Bonnie Beam is a junior studying Marketing with a minor in Law, Societies and Justice. She loves people, being challenged and learning! One of her most recent endeavors was a four-month direct exchange in the small city of Pamplona in Northern Spain. A highlight of her time there was a trip to the Asturias region of Spain where she repelled waterfalls in the middle of a massive rain/thunder/lighting storm and wandered amongst the cattle in Los Picos de Europa. Not to mention becoming nearly fluent in Spanish while living with 3 Spaniards who were determined to make her a native speaker! With a desire to serve others, her passion comes alive at the intersection of business and healthcare. She hopes to find a career in the healthcare industry and leverage the skills she has developed both at UW and abroad. In her free time, she loves to cook, bake, explore the outdoors through running and kayaking and most importantly, dominate with board games. She is stoked to be one of the activities managers and is determined to make GBCC an unforgettable week!

Rebecca2GBCC Ambassador Manager: Rebecca Ruh is a senior studying Business Administration and International Business with a focus in Spanish, while also pursuing a Spanish minor. Having studied abroad in Santiago, Chile for a semester, and returning for a six-month internship this past fall, post graduation she is hoping to take the plunge and live and work in Latin America. Whether that be for a social enterprise, a consulting firm with a social impact sector, or Peace Corps, she is pumped for the path that lays ahead. Ready for winding through different cultures, new ideas, and a handful of challenges. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys spontaneous adventures, staying active through gyming/hiking/biking/all of the above, and appreciating the little things like dark chocolate on a rainy day…or every day. She is excited for her role as Ambassador Manager and is looking forward to the best week of spring quarter – GBCC!

SarahGBCC Ambassador Manager: Sarah Zdancewicz is a senior majoring in Marketing and International Business and minoring in Spanish and Comparative Religion. She considers herself the female “Rick Steves” due to her many trips around Europe over the past six years. She studied abroad in both Spain and Eastern Europe, and loves learning about all aspects of culture. She hopes to return to Europe post-graduation and intern with a local company, but is open to other parts of the globe as well. Other than traveling, Sarah loves to run, hike, pet cute animals, check out local concerts, and go on spontaneous adventures around Seattle. She is beyond excited to meet all of the competitors and show them UW and Seattle!

Kiersten2GBCC Competition Manager: Kiersten Bakke is a senior in the studying Information Systems and International Business along with a Spanish minor. She is passionate about sustainability issues and how companies can use developing technology and innovations to help their businesses grow. She studied abroad in Santiago, Chile for a semester and loved being exposed to the Latin American culture. After graduation she will be going abroad again, most likely to Southeast Asia with an AIESEC internship. During her spare time, Kiersten likes being active by hiking with friends, running, or doing anything on/near the water. She also enjoys a good book, trying new restaurants, and a good cup of coffee. She cannot wait to meet all the competitors and share Seattle with them!

VelascoGBCC Competition Manager: Stephanie Velasco is a senior studying Finance, International Business, and Spanish. She loves meeting people with diverse backgrounds, learning about different cultures, and traveling to places she has never visited before whether it’s to another country or a new restaurant down the street! Last fall, she studied abroad in the south of Spain in the beautiful city of Granada. Her most memorable moments in Europe were visiting family in Germany and Barcelona, eating macaroons while watching the Eiffel Tower light up, and bungee jumping from a bridge! Her dream career is to work for a non-profit organization that allows her to travel internationally and use her Spanish-speaking skills. Stephanie is ecstatic to be one of the competition managers this year!

Emily2GBCC Social Media & PR Manager: Emily Su is a sophomore at the studying Marketing and International Business. She was bitten by the travel bug when she toured Europe and Asia this past summer. Some highlights of her trip included riding a Segway in Croatia, wine tasting in Greece, going to the opera in Italy, eating the best dim sum in Hong Kong, and parasailing in Taiwan. Her weeks of traveling abroad sparked her passion for all things international. She plans to study abroad in Shanghai this summer and is looking forward to immersing herself in a new culture where she hopes to do business in the future. Emily is always up for painting, dancing, boating, sitting in the sun, and learning new languages.

UW Global Business Center retains elite status as CIBER

The University of Washington’s Global Business Center is pleased to announce its selection as one of only 17 Centers for International Business Education & Research (CIBER) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.

The CIBERs were created by Congress in 1988 to increase and promote the nation’s capacity for international understanding and competitiveness. The Global Business Center, housed at the Michael G. Foster School of Business, has been a grant recipient since 1990.  The competition this year was fierce as the pool of available grants had been reduced from 33 to just 17.

Securing the CIBER grant enhances the Global Business Center’s capacity to develop business leaders with the knowledge, skill and vision needed to collaborate and compete across the globe.  “Global Business education is critical to the future success of our students and to U.S. competitiveness,” said Dean Jiambalvo. “Creating learning opportunities that build global business expertise is a top priority of the Foster School of Business. We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Education in supporting this priority.”

The Global Business Center will leverage this grant funding to draw on the strengths of the UW in implementing thirty-six new initiatives over the next four years with a focus on: (1) understanding Asia-Pacific markets; (2) the role of supply chains in global trade and investment; and (3) experiential learning for career-readiness.

  • Some of these new initiatives include:
    Career-focused study abroad and global experiential learning opportunities for students.
  • Programs that support faculty research and teaching related to the business, economic and cultural environments of Asia.
  • Education for the business and academic communities about new Arctic trade routes.
  • Global Career Pathways Programs that prepare community college graduates for careers in international trade, supply chain management, and cybersecurity.

The four-year CIBER grant will also allow the Global Business Center to build on its core competency of delivering outstanding student programs such as MBA Global Business Study Tours, the nationally ranked undergraduate Certificate of International Studies in Business, and the Global Business Case Competition.

“This award reinforces the strengths of the Foster School’s top ranked international business specialty programs,” explains Debra Glassman, Faculty Director of the Global Business Center. “We are honored to remain a part of the national CIBER network and look forward to producing more innovative global opportunities for students, faculty and the community.”

Putting together this winning proposal and rolling out these new initiatives would not be possible without the immense support that the Global Business Center receives from numerous individuals, community and corporate partners, and the University of Washington.  Thank you to all of our supporters!

Merci * спасибо *  Gracias  * 감사드립니다 *  Danke * 謝謝 * Ngyabonga
ありがとう* Grazie * 謝謝各位 * Spasibo * σας ευχαριστώ * THANK YOU!

Foster’s CISB program creates career ready grads that go global

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.

Are you a community member from the global business field and interested getting involved with CISB? Learn more about ways to contribute or contact

Taking the plunge and moving to Chile

Guest post by Katie Gray (BA 2011)

Katie GrayI 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.

International business students present to Lululemon execs

Guest post by Kelci Zile, Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) student

Kelci Zile and Erin Hollingshead
Kelci Zile and Erin Hollingshead at Lululemon headquarters
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 student receives Bonderman Travel Fellowship

Wilson Carletti in Hong Kong while on the China Exploration Seminar
Wilson Carletti in Hong Kong while on the China Exploration Seminar

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.

The Global Team is GBCC 2014 champion

Nick Schuler (UW), Jarred Adams (FSU), Mathea Hubert (NHH), and James Lam (CHUK)
Nick Schuler (UW), Jarred Adams (FSU), Mathea Hubert (NHH), and James Lam (CHUK)

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.