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International Agreement Provides Students with Global Business Experience

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As the business world continues to globalize, Dalton State’s Wright School of Business is preparing students to succeed in a worldwide economy.  

To help introduce students to the world of international business, Dalton State has signed a long-term agreement with the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) and its business graduate school, CENTRUM, in Lima, Peru. Both Dalton State and PUCP are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), an accolade earned by less than 5% of business schools worldwide. 

The agreement allows for the exchange of undergraduate students, the exchange of academic personnel and provides several opportunities for Dalton State and PUCP students to engage in cooperative professional development activities and joint research projects. 

Though the agreement was only recently signed, collaboration between the two schools began last summer when Dalton State’s Professor Carolina Hammontree started a project with Dr. Miguel Cordova, a professor of business management at PUCP, allowing students from both schools to work together in a simulated global working environment. 

“This project has taught me to have an open mind when working in a team,” said Elizabeth Manzo, a junior marketing major. “It gave me insight on what it’s like working with people from other cultures, and the opportunity to expand my social network. I started this project with five Peruvian teammates and I’m happy to know I’m ending it with five friends.” 

Dalton State students will continue to develop international business skills, expand their global mindsets and network on a global scale, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Because cultural intelligence is a vital skill for business professionals, I seek high-impact practices to enhance the global mindset of my students,” Hammontree said. 

Terry Brown, a junior finance student at Dalton State, is one of several students who has been involved in the international project. 

“We regularly meet with students from Peru via video conference and hold discussions at length about the risks, costs and benefits of foreign direct investment,” he said. “This project has taken what we’ve learned from our readings to the next level—this is our chance to develop our skills and global mindset in a safe, but challenging environment.” 

Hammontree also led her students in research to better understand Peru’s political and economic infrastructure, as well as the cultural differences between Peru and the United States. Last fall, her students benefited from a guest speaker exchange in which Hammontree taught international business and supply chain to senior business students at PUCP while Cordova lectured Dalton State students on business culture in Peru. “Any course that can allow internationalization of the curriculum will benefit from this agreement,” said Dr. Fernando Garcia, assistant professor of management at Dalton State. Garcia has worked closely with PUCP and its business grad school, CENTRUM, to establish strong connections and provide meaningful experiences for students. He recently offered Dalton State students a virtual program with guest speakers from CENTRUM and plans to host international speakers from the school during international week in fall 2021. The Wright School of Business plans to offer students traditional study abroad opportunities in Peru in 2022, assuming travel is safe and allowed. CENTRUM students also have much to gain from the agreement. As part of the collaborative effort to help advance research in Peru, Hammontree, Garcia and Dr. Marilyn Helms, dean of Wright School of Business, recently presented their research experiences and tips to doctoral students at CENTRUM.  Their presentations earned them certificates of recognition from the school as well as the admiration of its students. The Wright School of Business faculty will continue seeking opportunities for research partnerships and mentorships through the duration of the agreement, with Hammontree working to schedule another research symposium in the fall. 

“I’m excited about the joint research possibilities as our two faculties link to solve current business challenges,” Helms said. “We appreciate the virtual interaction this semester and look forward to being face-to-face with our Peruvian partners after the pandemic.” 

For Dalton State students the agreement opens the door for many educational and networking opportunities and ensures graduates will be well-prepared to successfully transition into the increasingly international business world. 

“The purpose of internationalizing the curriculum is to develop a global mindset by creating awareness of international issues while exposing students to other cultures,” Garcia said. “The opportunities granted by this agreement will do just that.”

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