Students from Around the World Work Together on Virtual International Business Class Project

Thursday, May 7, 2020TOPICS: International

Students from the University of San Diego and Tec de Monterrey meet on Zoom for a virtual class project
begin quoteWhen we started this semester, if anybody would have told us about the current situation we are in, many of us would have not believed it; yet here we are. Adapting and overcoming to keep our learning as optimal as possible from all over the globe.

Students may be studying at home but they still have the world at their hands. In the Introduction to International Business class at the University of San Diego School of Business, they had the opportunity to virtually work together with peers from around the world on a simulation activity examining the modes of entry for firms in international markets.

The project tasked students with working in multicultural teams to negotiate terms of a multiparty foreign direct investment while representing various stakeholders including a foreign investor, a host government and local community members.

This activity was designed by Eileen Daspro, a clinical professor of international business at the USD School of Business and Araceli Castelan, a professor at the Department of International Business at Tec de Monterrey in Guadalajara, Mexico, one of the USD School of Business’ global partner universities.

“One of the objectives of my course is for students to understand the challenges and opportunities of doing business internationally as well as the impact of cultural differences on international business,” says Professor Daspro.

For five weeks, Toreros worked alongside students from Tec de Monterrey, as well as USD exchange students from Greece, Portugal and France, most of whom have traveled back home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By coordinating through Slack and Zoom, students had to manage schedules across multiple time zones and balance communication styles among their team members in a multicultural context.

“The students struggled a bit to find a mutually convenient time to meet but that is a real-life challenge of working in global virtual teams and differing time zones,” shares Professor Daspro. 

To wrap up the projects, students completed a reflection activity based on what they learned from both the negotiation activity and from problem-solving while collaborating in virtual multicultural teams.

“The one thing that I loved about this project was connecting with international students and seeing how they learn because at some point in our lives, they may be our co-workers, says Raisa Diaz. “I think it was also really powerful to see what can be done when things go in an unexpected route. When we started this semester, if anybody would have told us about the current situation we are in, many of us would have not believed it; yet here we are. Adapting and overcoming to keep our learning as optimal as possible from all over the globe."

Contact:

Gabrielle Horta
ghorta@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4468