GCP student ambassadors apply international consulting experience
Wednesday, February 13 2019 02:00pm
Through the GCP Alumni Ambassador Program, students talk about their program experiences with fellow Business Bobcats during recruitment.
By Meghan Morris
In 2018, the Ohio University College of Business Global Consulting Program (GCP) sent 150 students abroad to consult on projects for real companies. And this international experience can help set students on a life-changing and new career trajectory.
“I think it is such a transformative experience because so much happens,” Colin Gabler, director of the Center for International Business Education and Development, said. “But when you get back from the program, real life begins again. It’s just remembered as that thing you did that one summer.”
Once students return from their travels, they have the opportunity to remain involved with GCP through the GCP Alumni Ambassador Program. The program gives the students opportunities to maximize their international experience by talking about their overseas travels and promoting the program to their fellow COB students. Student ambassadors are chosen out of the most recent send-offs. They learn how to leverage the experience by participating in recruitment strategies and giving advice to this summer’s GCP participants.
In return for a student ambassador’s help advocating for GCP, the Center for International Business Education and Development (CIBED) offers letters of recommendation, endorsements on LinkedIn, and anything else that might help the students find a job or continue their education.
During fall semester, GCP ambassadors are crucial in the program’s recruitment process, serving as peer guides. They promote GCP through classroom visits, information sessions, tabling, student organization presentations, and social media posts.
“Everybody knows about GCP, but they don’t know what it can do for them,” Amanda Brewer, a GCP ambassador and a marketing and management & strategic leadership senior, said. “It’s very easy to go to Ohio University and be stuck in your bubble and not think anything else happening in the world because we’re in such a small town.”
To spark interest in the GCP program, Zoe Compton, a GCP ambassador and junior studying marketing, presented to pledges of her fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, sharing her personal experience and what students could expect if they are accepted into the program.
Compton also showcased her travel abroad experience via social media, posting about GCP to her Instagram story right before applications were due. She included pictures of Siklós Castle, Budapest Stock Exchange, and Morgan Stanley to show that it wasn’t all work during the visit. She said some followers even reached out to her for more information about the program and possible destinations.
Sara Bankovich, who is also a GCP ambassador and a sophomore studying accounting and business pre-law, journeyed to Italy through the program. Having that experience after only a year in college prepared her for major group projects more than anything else, she said. Recently, she had the chance to speak with the 2019 GCP Italy participants about her travels.
“That was the most exciting part for me because I remember being in their shoes last year,” Bankovich said. “When I applied for GCP, I didn’t know anyone who was going to Italy. I went in blind, but I’d recommend that to anyone.”
Cassidy Book participated in GCP Hungary because it helped her utilize expertise from her communications studies major and business minor. Her team created "Buddy", an educational platform for Hungarian students, that would give them more autonomy in learning. Students could receive more assistance outside of the classroom through optional lessons. She thought the experience would be great because of her Hungarian heritage as well.
Sharing her memories with students has really helped her maximize the trip. Book especially wants GCP Hungary students to take advantage of an opportunity that allowed her to go in the first place. To finance her trip, she contacted the Cleveland Hungarian Development Panel, a nonprofit organization that aims to “exchange and develop Hungarian ideas” in certain disciplines. They loved the work she’d be doing in Hungary and funded the entire trip.
“I still have a relationship with the nonprofit, and I want to put more students in touch with them so they can hopefully get some financial help too,” Book said.
GCP and the Job Search
Participating in GCP also helps students find jobs, especially if recruiters know about the program already. If an OHIO graduate stumbles upon another GCP participant on the job search, Gabler hopes their shared experience will form an “intensely powerful bond” and offer similar benefits to the Bobcat connection.
While having coffee with a recruiter from a COB career fair, Compton really clicked with him and brought up her international experience.
“I told the recruiter that I did the Global Consulting Program and went to Hungary,” she said. “He stopped me and said ‘I went on that program.’ Before we knew it, we had spent 20 minutes talking about our experiences there. It was so awesome to connect with someone in the workforce who has done GCP."
What's Next for GCP
The future is bright for the GCP program with students continuing to take on the opportunity to travel, study and work abroad. The Center for International Business is also planning to expand the programs by adding GCP Brazil*, GCP Japan*, and GCP Costa Rica over the course of the next couple years. The Schedule and Dates for upcoming GCP trips is posted on the CIBED website.
If students don't think GCP is for them, they should check out Myths and Misconceptions 101: Global Consulting Project.
*The GCP program expands to Brazil with a trip planned for December 27, 2019-January 11, 2020. GCP expands to Japan in 2021. Updated on November 26, 2019, with new formatting and minimal text updates.