Selling Israeli wine in China? FIU students tackle the problem in CUIBE competition.

FIU CUIBE student team (left to right): Bernardo Castro, Alessia Tachella, Anya Schmidt, and Lawrence Ream.
FIU CUIBE student team (left to right): Bernardo Castro, Alessia Tachella, Anya Schmidt, and Lawrence Ream.

Four students from the College of Business at Florida International University (FIU) traveled to Boston to represent the university at the 5th annual CUIBE International Business Competition. Sixteen schools from the U.S. and Canada participated in the competition held October 30 to November 1, 2014 at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University.

”This year’s case, distributed to teams on the first evening, dealt with an Israeli winery interested in penetrating the lucrative Chinese market,” said team advisor David Wernick, senior lecturer and R. Kirk Landon Fellow in Student Engagement, MIB.

Teams had 24 hours to form a solution which they then presented to judges in a 15-minute Powerpoint program followed by a question and answer session. Faculty advisors have no contact with students after the case is distributed.

“The FIU team’s business strategy called for forging a partnership with a local distributor and targeting high end consumers in China’s four largest cities,” Wernick said. “Despite an excellent effort, which won accolades from the judges, the FIU team did not advance to the final round.”

CUIBE, the Consortium for Undergraduate International Business Education, is an association of schools and universities with undergraduate international business programs. The organization facilitates sharing best educational practices and provides opportunities to apply classroom skills in competitive real-world settings.

FIU’s international team had an enriching experience.

The FIU team was Bernardo Castro, a senior from Brazil; Lawrence Ream, a senior from the U.S.; Anya Schmidt, a senior from Ghana and Germany; and Alessia Tachella, a junior from Argentina.

“We are a diverse group and learned a lot from each other — and from the advanced preparation for the contest with Dr. Wernick,” said Schmidt.

Castro described the experience as a “a realistic representation of a real life consulting assignment” and said he was grateful to get that type of experience while still in business school.

Ream added, “The competition was an exhausting, stressful and nerve-wracking experience, but overall a very positive one.”

“The judges gave us great feedback. Working on these types of projects is a breath of fresh air,” said Tachella.

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