International Business students learn quickly that cultural differences impact business markets and that what one country’s culture seeks, is never exactly the same as that which another culture expects.
For this reason, when business students choose to study abroad at The Umbra Institute, they are given service learning opportunities that allow them to work directly with Italian companies through courses such as IBST 380: International Business Strategy, among others.
This semester, IBST 380 students are working with Listone Giordano, a family owned, eco-friendly, flooring company. Students were given the opportunity to meet with Listone Giordano’s Production Director and International Marketing and Communications Director to discuss the company’s culture, which is based on its strong Italian values relative to tradition and quality. During this meeting, students learned how Italian companies evolve to match modern demands while never abandoning their traditional roots. Students inquired about the company’s international sales management and gathered detailed information on its use of showrooms, consultants, and other methods that the company currently uses or is considering employing in the near future.
IBST 380 students will use this information, along with other sources of more statistical information, to help Listone Giordano develop new services and technology to improve its ability to reach out to international clientele, specifically in the United States. In order to complete the project, students will need to understand cultural differences and expectations in both Italy and the U.S. to develop an international business strategy proposal that can be seen as beneficial and effective in both cultures.
To learn more about Umbra’s service learning projects, click here.