Campus Life

WSOB Graduate Speaks in International Business Class

The Wright School of Business brings in prominent speakers every semester to provide practical, real-world instruction to the business leaders of tomorrow. These speakers bring with them years of experience in the workforce from the Dalton and surrounding communities.

Maud Swalens was warmly welcomed by Dr. M. Carolina Hammontree this month to discuss her journey through the business degree cycle, and how to negotiate international business marketing through cultural adaption. Swalens, a Dalton State WSOB graduate who went on to get her master's and become a marketing manager at Shaw Industries, offered consultation, practicality and advice on how to manage their global projects in class. The goal, Dr. Hammontree says, is to “simulate a real-life working environment in class.”

Swalens is a native of Brussels, Belgium. In her 2017 master's thesis, she interviewed with area industry leaders and experts including Vance Bell, Bob Shaw, Piet Dossche and others. Following  Shaw Industries' acquisition of USFloors in 2016, Swalens is now the marketing manager of the USFloors division. Swalens is fluent in English, Dutch and French.

Learning what is to be expected in the job field is "crucial to success after graduation," Swalens said. The most important thing she took from her studies was the drive of her professors to create a simulated working environment made her transition into the workforce easier.

Hammontree worked almost two decades in her prospective field in Argentina. Her class on international business encourages students to sell an American product overseas. Starting with foundational information like deciding which country to choose from and how they will get their product there, the process develops students to be “problem ready.” From there, students must analyze the risks and rewards of the product, evaluate the sociocultural aspects of the product and decide on whether to adapt their product through exporting or strategizing the product by utilizing the same U.S. standard. This simulated project invokes problem-based learning, which is what WSOB students will expect every day in the workplace after graduation.

Hammontree provided donuts for everyone. Her reason? “In business you eat a lot.”

Click here to find out more about the WSOB and what they are doing to help students lead boldly.

posted 11/21/2019 in Academics



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