During the Spring 2015 semester, I-Shen “Kelly” Wu, a senior double majoring in International Business and Accounting, completed the ABCs of International Trade Certificate Program as one of her Ahlers Center Fellowship activities. The program is a series of workshops designed especially for business students who have an interest, or emphasis, in international business and trade. These “hands-on” workshops are designed to supplement academic coursework in international business. Kelly, an international student from Taiwan studying abroad in the United States for her degree, describes her experience and take-aways from this unique program offered by the Ahlers Center.
Describe the activity and the role you played:
“I was an active participant in the ABCs of International Trade Certificate Program. The program consists of five three-hour workshops that focus on the topic of International Business and Trade. The workshops feature different speakers whom are international business professionals in the field. Each workshop has different focus areas within international trade. The first workshop was about global supply chain and logistics. The speaker Joel Sutherland was humorous and engaging. He shared with us many of his personal experiences on how to add the most value to your product in the most efficient way through international commerce. The second workshop focused on international market entry strategies, especially with the business opportunities presented in Canada and Mexico that benefited from NAFTA. Speaker Kenn Morris gave us and an overview of NAFTA and presented us the importance of rules of origin and the associated regulations. The third workshop was about the financial aspect of international business and the operations and services of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. We get a closer look at how international payments and financing operate and understand the challenges that comes with it. The fourth workshop focused on international marketing opportunities and resources. We learned about strategies to do research, selection, and preparation before entering a foreign market. The last workshop was on the topic of export/import operations and documentation. We learned how to read the tariff schedule in detail, and were also able to identify different documents needed in order to export or import goods.
All the speakers were knowledgeable and enthusiastic in their presenting topics, many of them were able to set up case studies for students to work in teams and apply what we learned right away. The lectures are informative and the activities were fun. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is interested in international business and trade!”
How will you be able to use what you learned from participating in this activity during your academic or professional career:
“The ABC’s of International Trade Certificate Program is a program that truly opens up your horizon to the real actions of international trade and commerce. It let me understand the complications and challenges when it comes to doing business internationally. However, the program also taught me that with thorough researching and careful planning, the opportunities beyond the borders are massive. With the improvements of technology, global trading is the trend now and in the future. I find the workshops on logistics and operations specifically interesting and useful. It is important to know the regulations and documentations of each country when you are trading internationally; some very basic mistakes can end up delaying your goods at the customs for a significant period of time. Many students/participants of the program are international students as well. It was really interesting doing group projects or case studies together, because it created an even more realistic feel of doing “international” business. The program allows me to become more confident and comfortable working and presenting short projects with people coming from different backgrounds that often have diverse ideas and interesting thoughts. With the materials I learned from the ABCs of International Trade Certificate Program, I have become more knowledgeable of international trade and more aware of the challenges that may come my way when doing international business.”