Leeds Students Gain International Marketing Experience in Italy

University of Colorado Boulder students are gaining hands-on international marketing experience while studying abroad in Perugia, a small medieval city in central Italy.

nguyenwhitewang.jpgAmy Nguyen, Jiali Wang and Rachel White are currently enrolled in BSIM 390 International Marketing at the Umbra Institute. This course provides students with an overview of theoretical and current business practices of international marketers, combined with a service learning component that allows for real world experience through a partnership with a local Umbrian company.

Nguyen, Wang, White and their classmates will be helping Pashmere with its globalization goals. Pashmere, is a 3rd generation, Umbrian, traditional Italian family-run, cashmere clothing company located in Ponte San Giovanni. Previously creating private label collections for designers such as Donna Karen, Prada, Fendi, and Versace; Pashmere shifted their focus in 1999 to designing for their own collection. Following the traditions of artisan knitwear, their pieces are designed in-house, working with emerging designers.

Th students will research current and potential exportation markets in China, Japan, Germany, Russia, and Brazil; targeted countries selected by the company. Based on managerial interviews, on-site observations, a SWOT analysis, and review of Pashmere’s business operations and materials, groups will present their findings and recommendations to Pashmere representatives at the end of the semester.

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Freshman Orientation Summer 2013

For the past two weeks we have been presenting the expanded global program to the incoming Leeds freshman class at orientation. The Class of 2017 has shown a lot of interest and excitement toward the program, eager to apply and become involved. Each of our 9 programs, from South America, Central America and Europe will focus on cultural differences in business as well as experiential learning.

  • We will be returning to Costa Rica to study the coffee and rural tourism industries, as well as to expand upon the work we began there last year in one of our inaugural programs. Again, there will be community service and homestay components to this trip .
  • As Cuba seeks to privatize some of its business interests, travel to this country presents a great place to study fledgling businesses. The students who choose to travel to Cuba will look at the privatization of businesses, for example, those that cater to the European tourists.
  • The Deming Center for Entrepreneurship has suggested a trip to Chile that will focus on the exciting entrepreneurial environment emerging specifically in the technology field.
  • Germany in contrast to the emerging nations provides students with the opportunity to look at the mature business setting specifically in regard to social responsibility as well as a look at big name brands such as BMW.
  • The Italy experience will take students in an exploration of three major industries: fashion, food and high-performance automobiles.
  • Panama presents the students with the opportunity to visit the canal, a major advancement for global trade. This trip will also have a homestay component so students can enjoy a local community experience and learn about the coffee industry of this Central American country.
  • The trip to Spain will take a look at culture in business as well as the industries most prevalent in the south of Spain such as olive oil and Iberico ham.
  • The UK and Ireland trip will look specifically at the economic parallels between their economy and the economy of Colorado. Students will study industry common to both, such as aerospace and mining.
  • We will also offer a program for the Leeds Scholars to Argentina that will focus on the cultural differences of doing business in South America compared to those practiced in the US.

Students will have the opportunity to attend interest sessions in September to learn more about each of these experiences before applying to the program in early October. We expect that 200 students from the Class of 2017 will participate in the First-Year Global Experience.

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First-Year Global Experience in Costa Rica

We spent last week in Costa Rica on a spring break trip that is part of our first-year global experience. Twenty six undergraduate students from the B3 Residential Academic Program who are enrolled in the spring-semester course BADM 1260 First-Year Global Experience traveled to Costa Rica.

In our weekly meetings with the students, we have discussed general international business topics as well as specific issues related to cultural differences and the socioeconomic aspects of the coffee industry and rural tourism in Costa Rica.


During the trip, the students had the opportunity to interact with the members of a rural community (El Cedral) that is in the process of commercializing coffee and is considering rural tourism opportunities. Through home-stays, the students were immersed in this community and their people. We have plans to repeat this experience next year in addition to offering other similar experiences in countries such as Panama, Chile, and Cuba.

This semester, another group of students (Leeds Scholars) enrolled in a second section of BADM 1260 are traveling to Argentina in May. To learn more about the trip to Costa Rica from the students’ perspective, click here.

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Experiential Learning through International Internships

In recent meetings with Leeds students, we discussed a variety of topics ranging from academic curriculum to career paths. What became evident in these meetings was their desire for additional experiential learning opportunities. In sum, they want to learn by doing. In addition, they are ready to increase their employability and explore the world beyond the boundaries of our state and country. International internships seem to be the perfect mechanism to achieve these goals.

Here at Leeds, we see three main sources for international internships: professional organizations (i.e., providers), AIESEC Colorado and our corporate partners. We have established a partnership with AIESEC that will provide scholarships to qualified students participating in internships that are worthy of academic credit according to our requirements.

At the same time, we are working with our corporate partners to increase the number and variety of internships that take place outside the United States. This summer, through a partnership with GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, Leeds students may engage in a 6-week (for 4 credits) or 10-week (for 6 credits) internship in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Valencia (Spain).

These efforts are just the initial stage of an experiential learning program that we hope will provide tremendous value to a large percentage of our students.

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New Global Seminar in China

The Leeds School of Business will offer a new global seminar called “Doing Business in China” in the spring/summer of 2013. The seminar consists of 4 lectures in Boulder in late spring and 2 weeks in China (Beijing and Shanghai) in May. These are the program highlights:

  • Learn about critical success factors for operating a business in China
  • Hone your business meeting skills
  • Learn and practice culturally appropriate behavior in a business setting
  • Translate your knowledge from study of the Chinese business environment into recommendations to improve business practices
  • Gain an appreciation and hopefully a genuine passion for one of the most dynamic and complex business environments in today’s world
  • No previous knowledge of Chinese language required
  • Receive a scholarship from the Leeds School of Business (business majors only)

The seminar focuses on the critical success factors for doing business in China. We are very excited that Prof. Tracy Jennings will be leading this seminar. For more information click here.

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Congratulations to our Partner, Lancaster University Management School

We are proud to call Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) or partner. LUMS has been named the 2012 Business School of the Year by Times Higher Education (THE) . THE judges praised LUMS for its “demonstrable, consistent and considerable impact locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.” Since 2007, 81 University of Colorado students have gone to Lancaster University on study abroad programs, including 20 Leeds School students visiting LUMS. For more information on our partnership program with LUMS click here.

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A Framework for Assessing Global Competence

World Savvy, an organization that helps youth in middle and high schools learn how to think rather than what to think about critical global and community issues, has developed an instrument to assess student’s development of global competency based on the following framework:


  • Complexities and interdependency of world events and issues
  • Geography, conditions, issues and events
  • Historical forces that have shaped the current world system
  • One’s own culture and history in relationship to others


  • Research
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Coping and resiliency
  • Critical and comparative thinking
  • Creative thinking and problem solving

Values and Attitudes

  • Openness to new opportunities, ideas and ways of thinking
  • Self-awareness about identity and culture, and sensitivity and respect for differences
  • Empathy and valuing multiple perspectives
  • Comfort with ambiguity and unfamiliar situations


  • Seek out multiple opinions and perspectives
  • Form opinions based on exploration and evidence
  • Taking informed action on issues that matter to you
  • Sharing knowledge and encouraging discourse

In this framework, global competency is defined as the individual’s readiness to participate in a complex, interconnected world. The instrument measures the willingness to explore how the world works, rather than specific knowledge of how it functions; interest in other cultures, rather than specific knowledge of those cultures; desire to take a stand on global issues, rather than specific knowledge of the issues. The framework makes a distinction between a “globally aware or knowledgeable” individual and a “globally competent”. At Leeds, we are interested in establishing programs and providing opportunities that wiil produce globally competent graduates.

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Leeds View of Globalization

The Leeds School of Business believes that business graduates that are equipped to operate in a global setting are essential to innovation and economic development. We also believe that an emphasis in global business education results in a more responsible globalization of business and society. Our global initiatives seek to prepare students to perform at a high level in a world of global businesses and diverse cultures. As a byproduct of preparing our students for an interrelated and complex world, we believe that our globalization efforts will enhance the student experience with a stronger connection between theory and practice.  The Leeds School does not see globalization as a collection of disjointed programs with the sole purpose of taking American students abroad and/or recruiting international students. The programs are part of an overall strategy that pursues precise learning objectives and outcomes.

In addition to the overarching goals of promoting economic prosperity around the world, a global business education has direct benefits to students, faculty and employers:

  • In today’s world of increased mobility, globally aware graduates have more choices for employment
  • Graduates are immediately ready to contribute in global environments because they aware of global issues and cultural differences
  • A global mindset allows graduates to recognize good ideas from wherever they might come and new market/product opportunities wherever they might exist
  • Innovation is fostered among faculty who are exposed to new cultures, experiences and teaching and research methods
  • Faculty contribute to the creation and dissemination of the knowledge needed to tackle problems with an international scope
  • Employers have access to graduates whose global perspective is based on direct observation and experience and not on an abstract examination of different economic and political systems
  • Graduates have immediate impact in their place of employment because their critical thinking and problem-solving skills are complemented by a comprehensive understanding of different contexts

We seek an integrated, synergistic approach to globalization in which global experiences reinforce classroom learning. Among the specific mechanisms that will enable an integration of academic knowledge and experiential knowledge are global seminars, study abroad, academic treks, internships, exchanges, partnerships with foreign institutions, and increased national diversity of the student body.

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Welcome to Global Initiatives

I am Manuel Laguna, the new Director of Global Initiatives, and I’ll be using this blog to inform you of activities, programs and events related to global experiences for Leeds students.  We are committed to 1) inform students of international experience opportunities, 2) make it easy for students (by eliminating barriers) to be part of international programs such as study abroad, and 3) create new programs with an international component.

There are frequent opportunities to learn more about the benefits of adding an international experience to a bachelor’s degree.  For instance, on September 27, 2012, Semester at Sea and Study Abroad will host a World Change Event here at CU Boulder.  The focus of the event will be to discuss the “essential elements every college student needs to make real change in our interdependent world.”

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