Marketing Students Jump into International Culture at Florida Tech through X-Culture
MELBOURNE, Fla., Aug. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Florida Tech student Yuxi Hu successfully completed an eight-week project with five other teammates without ever speaking to any of them.
In fact, the 24-year-old MBA student has only seen pictures online of her five teammates. Although they’ve never met in person, the group was able to work together and create a foreign market entry plan.
It was all part of the X-Culture project, where six students from six different countries make up one team. They are tasked with explaining the best way to introduce a product to a new country. For example: Apple selling the iPhone5 in Nigeria.
“I loved the project because this was my first time studying with people from so many different countries,” said Hu, who worked with students from Spain, Colombia, Thailand, Barbados and Guyana. “We used Facebook to communicate. We didn’t talk face to face so sometimes that was difficult.”
The X-Culture project began in 2010. During the spring 2013 semester, more than 4,000 students from over 40 universities participated including 35 Florida Tech students. In total, more than 100 Florida Tech students have taken part.
All Florida Tech business students are required to participate while taking an international business class.
Tim Muth, who teaches international business, brought X-Culture to Florida Tech in spring 2012 after searching for a way to teach his students the real-life experiences he encountered during 25 years in the corporate world.
“You can do projects in class but until you get into that international realm, you really don’t experience the real world,” said Muth, who has taught at Florida Tech for six years.
Students are given a lot of flexibility and not much structure in the X-Culture project, which has its challenges. Muth encourages his students to negotiate and emphasizes the importance of creating a global virtual team since there are no face-to-face meetings. It is up to the students to determine when, how and how often they communicate.
“One student said he always likes to sleep in on Sunday, but for this project he had to get up early to Skype at 9 a.m. Sunday because it was a time that worked for everyone,” Muth said.
Although one third of his students are international, he said a lot of his students have never traveled outside the U.S.
“This is their first taste of international culture,” he said. “They get an appreciation for the world.”
MBA student Jeff Null said the X-Culture project was a lot of work but worth it.
“It’s a unique learning experience that a lot of students don’t get,” Null, 26, said. “X-Culture is a great way to introduce the real business world in a classroom setting.”
About Florida Institute of Technology
Founded at the dawn of the Space Race in 1958, Florida Tech is designated a Tier One Best National University in U.S. News & World Report, and is one of just nine schools in Florida lauded by the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges.
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SOURCE Florida Institute of Technology