Umbra’s BSIM 390: International Marketing provides students with an overview of theoretical and current business practices of international marketers, combined with a service learning component that allows for real world experience through a partnership with a local Umbrian company.
This year’s partner, Pashmere, is a 3rd generation, Umbrian, traditional Italian family-run, cashmere clothing company located in Ponte San Giovanni. Previously creating private label collections for designers such as Donna Karen, Prada, Fendi, and Versace; Pashmere shifted their focus in 1999 to designing for their own collection. Following the traditions of artisanal knitwear, their pieces are designed in-house, working with emerging designers. Their goal is to continue building their business in various markets abroad, while continuing to deliver a high-quality, luxury product.
To assist Pashmere in obtaining this goal, students researched current and potential exportation markets in targeted countries selected by the company: China, Japan, Germany, Russia, and Brazil. Based on managerial interviews, on-site observations, a SWOT analysis, and review of Pashmere’s business operations and materials, groups presented their findings and recommendations to Pashmere representatives this past Thursday.
“Working with Pashmere gave our class an amazing opportunity to apply what we’ve learned in the classroom regarding key target markets, consumer research, and marketing strategies,” commented Babson College student, Kirti Nahar. “My concentration is Marketing and Global Business Management, so working with Pashmere was the perfect project to practice my skills and give me a glimpse of my future career path.
“This class and involvement in this project has made me realize the importance of conducting research on cultural differences before entering a new market,” added Brandeis University student Sathvika Reddy. “I have gained a new way of thinking and analyzing – using a combination of creativity and analysis to come up with innovative ideas.”
The Umbra Institute is committed to creating innovative international education opportunities for students, allowing for immersion into the local community. Service learning at Umbra links critical thinking and academic coursework with personal reflection and collaboration with the local community. Participation allows students to become active participants in their learning, both in and outside of the classroom.