The University of Iowa

Business initiative helps reach outside the U.S.

October 21st, 2014

By Aaron Walker, The Daily Iowan

The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business is planning a new initiative to let UI students and Iowa businesses work together on expanding globally.

The UI’s Institute for International Business is creating a program in which students work in groups of four or five with a small business in Iowa to analyze risk and assess markets to help build a foreign entry strategy.

Dimy Doresca, the director of the institute and a UI lecturer, said he hopes to begin the project in the spring of 2015.

“Students will work on these projects as consultants providing companies with the tools they need to pick these products,” he said. “I will be the subject matter expert working with the students to design these projects.”

He said he is currently in the process of selecting companies in all markets of international business.

“[Students will] get a chance to interact with Iowa entrepreneur or company executives on real world projects in international business,” Doresca said.

He said it will be beneficial for the UI because it will strengthen the links between small and mid-sized companies in Iowa.

The Iowa Association of Business and Industry is working with the UI on the project.

Association President Mike Ralston said it will assist by spreading the word about the new initiative and by helping to identify businesses that may wish to participate.

“The goal here is to match smaller employers who wish to conduct business globally, [to] either increase or initiate exporting, with students at the [UI] who have exposure to academic areas related to global markets,” Ralston said.

The students will gain real-world experience by consulting with the companies, he said.

The companies will receive the assistance at little to no cost, he noted.

“If things go well, we hope the result will be better educated and trained students and more business in foreign markets by Iowa companies,” Ralston said.

Some business students said they would be excited to participate.

UI junior Paul Schwarz, who is majoring in marketing and finance and pursuing an international-business certificate, said it would be great preparation for the real world.

“It would be the best way to network yourself internationally and understand their culture and how they do business,” Schwarz said. “It’s a good way to work with people not only in your state but a good way to learn information about their culture.”

UI senior Jens Hauser, who is majoring in marketing, also said he would be excited to participate. He’s a member of Tippie’s international buddy program.

“[It would] give a unique perspective for students to engage with a company and learn about business practices that are different from American companies,” he said. “[Students could] bring the ideas and use them in the American business world.”