Business Bobcats partner with local business to prepare for international consulting experience
Thursday, July 26 2018 12:00am
GCP students work with Casa Nueva to increase revenue and gain exposure to real clients
Every year the College of Business Global Consulting Program (GCP) sends nearly 150 Business Bobcats to eight countries across the globe to consult with live business clients and solve real-world bushiness problems. While abroad, students are faced with the challenges of working with a team to present realistic solutions for business leaders while navigating the nuances of a cross-cultural environment.
How do students prepare for such an experience? They start by consulting in their own backyard. One GCP class worked with Casa Nueva to develop strategies designed to increase sales within their jarred salsa business and Cantina bar. Thirty-one teams spent the semester working with Leslie Shaller, Grace Corbin, and other co-owners of the local favorite to mimic the overseas experience.
"Case studies are great, but working with a live client is a whole new ball game. Casa Nueva seemed like the perfect fit,” said Professor of Marketing and GCP Program Director Colin Gabler. “Not only are they a unique, funky, interesting client, but they also embody Athens which made it fun and personal for students and employees alike."
Students met with Casa employees multiple times throughout the semester, first to receive their project charge, then for depth interviews, and finally to present their recommendations. They gained valuable experience through each phase of the project.
“Completing this project for Casa within the outlined scope of work was great practice for me,” said GCP student Stephanie Howell. When you’re a consultant you have to understand that even though you may identify multiple ways to improve for a client through your research sometimes you have to focus on developing solutions for a single problem.”
From online marketing solutions to manufacturing improvements, the groups offered a range of recommendations to Casa Nueva co-owners.
“We definitely took their recommendations that they gave us to heart,” said Corbin. “It was interesting to get a fresh perspective from current students, since we often talk about them as our target market.”
Apart from business consulting, students spent time learning the language and culture of their GCP destination. Combining these social and soft skills with the analytical tools used for the project with Casa Nueva, students became ready to convey what it means to be a Business Bobcat all over the world.
This summer GCP project students traveled to Ancona, Italy or Wuhan, China to apply their experience on a global scale.