By Keane Collins, CISB VP Finances and Chinese Track Student
In January, 2021, members of the Certificate of International Studies in Business Program worked together to participate in this year’s Foreign Market Strategy Competition. MiiR, a company that manufactures and sells insulated food and beverage products like water bottles, tasked students to create an in-depth international expansion strategy that would build upon or evolve their current international business network. The weeks of research and preparation culminated in a presentation held on January 27th, 2021—though things operated differently this year, as it marked the first ever virtual Foreign Market Strategy Competition held via Zoom. The COVID-19 pandemic obligated all members to navigate a virtual environment but also presented an opportunity for students to collaborate, conduct research, and present in a manner this competition has never seen before.
Each team selected a country related to their language track as the geographic target for their strategy: U.S. Track-Australia, Chinese Track-China, EMEA Track-Germany, Japanese/Korean Track-Japan and Spanish Track-Spain. Each presentation included unique analytical tools that explained the reasoning behind the country of choice, featuring market analyses, risks and mitigations, corporate social responsibility factors and more. The originality of each presentation reflected the extent to which culture can affect business strategies and the due diligence that is required to enter such markets.
A panel of five judges scored the competition: Mandy Lozano, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, MiiR; Dan Dahl, President of Global Sales, MiiR; Jessica Collins, International Sales Manager, MiiR; Foster’s own marketing professor Marty Matthews, and Melissa Peabody, Senior Manager, Starbucks. The Grand Prize was awarded to the U.S. Track, Most Original awarded to the Japanese/Korean Track, Presentation Style awarded in a tie to both the EMEA and Chinese Tracks, and honorable mention to the Spanish Track.
CISB appreciates the time and effort of all the faculty, judges, and track presidents for their leadership. Special thanks goes to Kristen Kohashi from the Undergraduate Program Office for facilitating the presentations. MiiR was an amazing company to work with and we look forward to seeing the global strides the company makes going forward.