Four undergraduates from Florida International University (FIU) joined teams from other leading business schools offering international business programs for a case competition November 3-6, 2011. Northeastern University hosted their second annual International Business Case Competition in partnership with the Consortium of Undergraduate International Business Education (CUIBE).
Luis Gasparini, Ana Perez, Belinda Sardinas and Luciano Viola, selected by members of the faculty of the College of Business Administration, traveled to Boston, Massachusetts for the three-day event. Although the team did not make it to the final round, the students benefited from the opportunity.
“To work hard on strategies for a multinational corporation and then to present to a panel of four distinguished judges is an enriching experience,” said senior Ana Perez. “We were proud when the judges praised the FIU team.”
Students had 22 hours to develop solutions for a case they received upon arriving at Northeastern. It involved Carlsberg A/S and how the Danish brewing company should expand a product in three regions.
“Each geographical area—Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia—is at a different point in business growth so it made a challenging situation,” Perez said. “We had to tackle the problem from all perspectives including marketing, management, finance and accounting.”
Emphasis on international business offers specific benefits.
“The practice of deliberating strategy and then selling someone on an idea is so fundamental to business,” said Jacqueline Moreno (MS ’10), senior academic advisor, International Business Honors (IB Honors) program, who traveled with the group. “That’s what makes case competitions an important exercise. The CUIBE competition is particularly valuable to students seeking careers in international business as they get experience applying their knowledge to global situations.”
Perez readily agrees. Following her upcoming graduation, at which she’ll receive a degree in international business and environmental business, she plans to join her family’s company based in Venezuela. Often she will be working in Mexico.
“During case competitions, in a short amount of time, you have to deal with different people, think quickly and thoroughly on a variety of subjects and make an effective presentation,” she said. “This is extremely good preparation for the real world.”