I keep hearing about all the great work our undergraduate business students did for international companies last month. Professor Carsten Zimmerman and student Alyssa Forester told me about the management consulting project that ten of our students did for WD-40 in Shanghai during January Intersession.
The student consulting team was tasked with making recommendations for WD-40 China to further monetize the industrial segment in different regions of mainland China. In meetings with the students, the marketing director and general manager provided them with data collected over the past six years to help them with their research.
The students went on a market visit throughout the Shanghai community to retailers, wholesalers and distributors to see where the products were being placed, who was purchasing them and how the products were being used. They found that WD-40 China has limited brand awareness and the Chinese people don’t see value in the product; this is the primary reason that the company is focusing on the industrial segment. They also found that counterfeit products are big competitors.
The students analyzed the information they gathered from the company, the market visit and their own research. They produced and presented several deliverables, including risk benefit analysis, key performance indicators, prioritization matrices, implementation maps and initial recommendations for the company to meet current and future challenges.
This is terrific experience for our students, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Alyssa Forester (Business Administration and Marketing major) had this to say:
The Management Consulting class I completed during Intersession with Dr. Zimmerman proved to be a once in a lifetime experience. Being immersed into the diverse culture of Shanghai created a learning environment that was both challenging and exciting. After applying the skills I acquired in class to the company WD-40, I realized that not only had I learned about management consulting as it relates to Chinese culture, but I had gained new perspective that will change my life as a woman in the business world.