Studying at WHU

The German education system has been an interesting experience, but I couldn’t be happier that I selected WHU for my exchange!  WHU is really good about accommodating their Tauschies, what they call exchange students, and making exchange the best experience possible.

Class was a little strange at first as I had to adjust to a 3.5 hour lecture… for all of my classes.  It was rough but the professors really find ways to break up the class since they know we can’t possibly handle all of the information at once. My very first lecture I was shocked when all of the WHU students started applauding the lecturer at the end of the period. It’s just what you do at the end of the lecture, no matter if it’s your regular professor or a guest speaker and it was an interesting culture difference.

All of the campus buildings, and the buildings around Germany, are really neat because they’re typically constructed around the remains of 15th or 16th century buildings.  For example, one of the buildings on campus was a monastery at some point but has since been converted into an office/general purpose building on campus. It still has the original chapel and vaulted cellar (where the monks used to store the wine they made); it’s so cool being seeped in so much history!

Another thing that I love about the WHU class system is that it allows plenty of time for travel. It’s such a cool experience to be able to hop on a plane and be in a totally different country, culture, and environment in just a few hours. I’ve already been to Spain, Belgium, and Switzerland and am going to Berlin this weekend!

WHU is also really great about introducing you to German culture. We went on a tour of the region a few weeks ago to see one of their local vineyards in Boppard (as the Upper Rhine River Valley where I’m located is famous for its wine) and then to eat a traditional German meal (which was DELICIOUS). I also visited the Deutsches Eck, the point where the Rhine and Mosel rivers meet. It’s located in Koblenz, the bigger city around the teeny tiny Vallendar where WHU is actually located. It was such a cool experience!

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In the vineyards of Boppard!

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At Deutsches Eck

All in all WHU is a great school; they really welcome their Tauschies and allow us to get a great education, but also leave us plenty of time to explore the world!

The Reality of Planning for a Semester Abroad

This being my first blog entry, I suppose I’m starting things off on a negative note. However, I think it’s an important topic that should be touched on initially and reinforced from a student’s perspective.

First off, get started on your planning, as soon as possible. I cannot stress that enough. I made a lot of excuses for myself to put things off (Spring classes, summer trips, focus on internship, etc) but it made for a very stressful process when I couldn’t delay any longer. I wound up spending a lot of time searching for apartments and coordinating with other exchange students in Italy, which is not an easy process given the language barrier as well as the fraud/deception risk of searching for overseas lodging. My suggestion: stick with university sponsored housing (assuming it’s available). It will alleviate some of that stress and probably be a nicer set-up anyway, not to mention it facilitates the process of meeting other students.

If I had made this decision sooner, I could have put my time into the process of getting a study visa, which should be started ASAP. Initially I noted the 1-3 week processing time for the visa, but neglected the fact that you generally need to book an appointment 4-6 weeks in advance. Ended up contacting about 10 vice consulates to set up a last minute appointment, not fun. Also, it can take some time to gather and clarify all the required documents, especially since the consulates can be very hard to get a hold of with any questions (email is best). Didn’t help that I was planning to travel before and after my time in Milan, which complicated the travel documents needed.

The actual packing process was surprisingly simple, even for a procrastinator like myself. A quick google search will bring up plenty of student provided lists of items, and remember that you can always buy non-essentials like clothes, deodorant, etc. Focus on making sure you’re documents, medicines, and travel plans are in order, then you can worry about how many dress shirts to take.

All that said, don’t let stress distract you from excitement about the opportunity ahead! Spend a bit of time friending others on Facebook ahead of time (and of course upon arrival) and remember to use resources around you.

My next entry will be on all the positive things (since it’s already been a terrific 3 weeks in Italy). Coming soon..

Open Heart and Open Mind- EMGL Blog September 23rd

“You need to go in with an open heart and an open mind.” Perhaps this is advice that one’s mom would give before going on a family camping trip, however, this was not the case for the Emerging Market Global Lab Class this evening. While this phrase seems like something one would say sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows, it was said in a college classroom at The Ohio State University. EMGL had the privilege of hearing from Luke Barbara, the director of the Ohio State Brazil Gateway, who came to talk to the students about his experiences and knowledge of Brazil.

Having lived in Brazil for four years, he gave the students advice on how to approach their upcoming trip to Manaus, Brazil. Barbara graduated from Ohio State majoring in chemical engineering, international relations and entrepreneurship. He touched upon a variety of topics ranging from nuances in the Brazilian political system to 24- hour juice stands in São Paulo. Having guest speakers come into the EMGL classroom is vital to getting a well-rounded background of Brazil. Mr. Barbara shared insight with us that cannot be found in a textbook or on Wikipedia.

We got a better sense of how complex the political system is and how corrupt it can be. Some interesting tidbits we learned about Brazil’s political system are that many of the public officials and candidates running for office are not formally educated and that it is mandatory for all citizens to vote in Brazil, which leads to public officials “buying the poor’s votes” by giving them food handouts etc. Barbara also mentioned some differences between the ways business is conducted in the United States in comparison to Brazil. He emphasized that relationships and liking the people one does business with takes precedence over other business factors such as lowering product cost or streamlining manufacturing.

Barbara also shed light on the FIFA World Cup 2014 situation and how it did not bring in the expected surge of economic growth. To prepare for the World Cup, enormous amounts of money were spent to build needed infrastructure such as new stadiums. Citizens thought the money for these projects was coming from private sectors, but later found out that the public sector was paying for these projects. FIFA was a turning point and revealed various faults in Brazil. On the surface everything seemed to be going well, but in reality it was not. While Barbara commented that Brazil does have potential for economic growth, he also stated that taxes are extremely high, inflation is at seven percent and there is a colossal gap between the upper echelon and the poor class. Barbara joked that many businesspeople say “Brazil is the country of the future and always will be.” Alluding to the fact that Brazil has positive benefits, but still has a long way to go before coming a powerful player in the world economy.

The Past vs. The Future

Manchester, England

The photo shown above was taken in the city center of Manchester, England.

I believe it is an interesting perspective as to the cultural shifts that seems to be occurring. On the left side you can see the more modern architecture representative of Manchester’s modernization and continued growth.  If you turn your attention to the right, the contrast in building design is immediately apparent. The architecture is obviously of much older design, though kept in good condition. We were informed that many buildings in Manchester were originally textile factories built in the early 1900’s, but have been “recycled” as office buildings, hotels, and so on.

With a history dating back to 79 AD, it’s fair to say that Manchester is an ancient city. Despite that, the “Mancunians” (Those who live in Manchester), have kept relevancy remarkably well. Culturally, it should be noted that while the Mancunians have a sense of practicality about them, their respect for tradition and conservation should be noted as well.

Top 10 Reasons to Go on the Freshman Global Lab

Hello! My name is Ellie and I’m a second year Finance major. This past May I went on the Freshman Global Lab to Cologne, Germany; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Brussels, Belgium; and London, England. I am a big fan of lists, so below is my list for my top 10 reasons to go on the Freshman Global Lab.

  1. One of my favorite things about the Freshman Global Lab was that it combined a required business class with real-life examples. Reading in a textbook can help you understand a concept, but nothing compares to experiencing it in person. The trip was a great way to sum up our class, Intro to International Business, which business majors will need to take anyway to graduate!

 

  1. The Freshman Global Lab is a great way to get experience studying and traveling abroad. If you want to go abroad sometime during college, but you aren’t sure if you want to go a full semester, this is a great way to see what it’s like.
Photo by Kozue Isozaki

View of Central London

 

  1. One major part of our trip was the business visits. It was very interesting to me to see businesses in my area of specialization. Since I am a finance major, one of my favorite memories of the trip was being able to observe one of the trading floors at a major investment bank in London. It helped me realize that finance is the right specialization for me!

 

  1. Another bonus of the trip is that you can also see businesses in other areas. I had previously thought that I wasn’t interested in manufacturing, but after touring several businesses in Cologne, Germany, I found that a lot of the things they were doing were actually very interesting. It surprised me how much common ground there actually is, even between companies that seem to produce completely different products and services.
Photo by Kozue Isozaki

Igus factory

 

  1. Meet new people and make new friends! Sometimes it’s hard to meet other business majors as a freshman since many of the freshman classes are general education classes. It was nice to be able to meet people in class, and then become better friends with them over the course of the trip.
Photo by Ellie Schriner

Sunset in Cologne, Germany

 

  1. Business visits aren’t the only component of this trip; you will also have the chance to go sightseeing!

 

  1. In addition to going to major landmarks and buildings, we also had the opportunity to go to museums and experience the history of the countries we visited. Some of my favorites were the Tower of London and the Crown Jewels, as well as El De Haus, which is a former Gestapo prison in Germany.
Photo by Kozue Isozaki

Freshman Global Lab 2014 at the British Museum

 

  1. Before I traveled to Europe, I assumed that their culture would be mostly the same as that of the United States. While there are quite a few similarities, it was interesting to experience new cultures and look at the ways that they do or see things differently from people in the US.
  1. The food. I had some of the best food on this trip. We were able to try authentic German food, true Belgian waffles, fish and chips, and many other local specials. We also got to try some of the European chain brands like Nando’s and Wagamama (both of which were very good!).
  2. It may sound cliché, but my final reason to go on the Freshman Global Lab is simple. It’s fun! I loved being able to explore new cities, meet new people, and see international business. I would highly recommend the Freshman Global Lab to all Fisher Direct freshmen, no matter what your specialization is. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I hope others can enjoy it as much as I did!
Photo by Kozue Isozaki

Group after visits to SolarWorld and Johan Maria Farina

First Impressions of Dublin

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Céad míle fáilte! A hundred thousand welcomes! This semester I have the privilege of representing Fisher Exchange and Ohio State at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. So far my impressions of the college as well as the country have been wildly positive even though things here are run very differently then one would expect in the states. I arrived in Dublin on 23 August to start a program called Semester Start Up- Understanding Ireland.

The class is designed to introduce international students from outside the EU to the history, art, and culture of Ireland by listening to lectures, attending discussions, and making trips to sites of historical and cultural significance. We visited the castles Trim and Dublin, the spiritual hills of Tara, and Croke Park the football stadium where Bloody Sunday occurred in 1920.

An interesting point for me was the amount of history of Ireland. We learned of the history from before the arrival of St. Patrick in 450AD to the works of James Joyce and beyond in the twentieth century. In the United States, events from the 1700’s are considered old but here that is considered modern history. The sheer age of some of the buildings is staggering. I ate in a pub that was founded in 1198, almost 600 years before the US constitution was ratified! In short, there is a lot of history to learn.

Outside of the program I have been exploring all the things Ireland has to offer. A group of students and I got out of the city to the quaint fishing villages of Howth and Dun Laoghaire at the points of Dublin harbor, spent a day hiking in the Wicklow Mountains, and watched Dublin play Donegal in the semifinals of Gaelic Football, the national sport. The finals are this weekend and I can’t wait to see another match of this intense sport.

At the moment we are in the middle of Freshers Week, an infamous kickoff to the start of the year in which the societies vie for students participation. At Trinity, the societies are the basis of college life out of the classroom similar to clubs at OSU. Imagine the student involvement fair at OSU for twelve plus hours a day for a whole week. There are concerts, social events, free food, and a lot more people now that many of the students have moved in. The biggest difference that I have seen between OSU and Trinity is the urgency with which things get done. I am in the process of scheduling my classes this week! At OSU I would have had that done months ago. It is a bit scary but all the professors assure us this is normal procedure.

Living in Dublin has been great so far and I don’t anticipate that changing anytime soon. The locals are friendly, the city is beautiful, and the weather has been surprisingly sunny. I’m so excited that I was able to do the Exchange Program and can’t wait to share more about my experiences here.

Live Time is the Prime Time- EMGL Blog September 16th

“Listen, follow instructions and ask questions in live time!” Professor Sword proclaims as he gives directions about our first group export project. Some students furiously write everything that is coming out of his mouth, some calmly type away at their computer while others sit back and take the information in cerebrally. Many diverse methods are used to achieve the same goal; making sure one understands the project and his or her responsibilities pertaining to it. “I do not want any emails later tonight asking me details about the project because you need to ask them now if something is unclear.” Sword says good- naturedly.

The class is split into groups of four and they are challenged to come up with 3 prospective products that companies manufacture preferably in Columbus, Ohio. They need to research how that company can export their product to Brazil while paying attention to legal considerations, transportation and logistics, pricing, marketing etc. The group is required to get the Harmonized System (HS) code for each product, justify why they chose the product and reach out to the company that manufactures it if possible. All of this research is completed to prepare for the “Scoping Project” which is essentially a pitch to the class who takes on the role of the company of the product. The group pitches and convinces the company why they should export to Brazil.

Hands shoot up like rapid fire to clarify due dates and specific expectations. Chatter and whispers can be heard throughout the room due to classmates or “colleagues” commenting to other students. Sword calls out a student in the back of the room for what he thinks is “talking while the teacher is talking,” but it turns out that the student was telling his seat neighbor what a “cool” project he thought this was. “Either the truth or a very nice professional comeback,” Sword declares as the classroom muffles their giggles. To an observer, this class might seem intense or out- of- one’s comfort zone, but this class is somewhat of a dichotomy. While students in the class are to conduct themselves as professional business people, there is also a light- hearted and cheerful banter that permeates room 316 in Bolz Hall. The professor sets a professional, but upbeat and sanguine tone.

After everyone calms down from the oral instructions about the project, the class takes a “Tim’s Ten” quiz, which is a quiz that tests the students on pertinent information about what they have read and talked about in class such as “characteristics of an emerging market.” The last question on the quiz incorporates our homework from the previous week. We were to find twenty facts that would be relevant for a business student going to Brazil. We had to turn our fact into question format, which some students had trouble doing. For example, some students asked what the population of Brazil was, while others asked if one would immediately die if he or she falls in the water with piranhas. If a student wrote a fact that was not very relevant, they were asked to try again. By having each person find out a fact and share it with the class, the class now has a plethora of facts and figures that will be useful in Brazil. When traveling to a foreign country, especially on business, one needs to know how Brazil operates and basic information about their political system and history to appear knowledgeable about Brazil.

Expertise is accumulated over time and in EMGL students learn from the professor, other students, and outside resources. Next week the students look forward to hearing the Ohio State Global Gateway Director, Luke Barbra, speak about advancing opportunities for global business in Brazil. Students are eager to gain knowledge from someone who has experienced doing business in Brazil first hand. This speaker is the first of many presenters that will be coming in to talk with the students. This aspect of the class alone is an invaluable opportunity for students to network and build connections with real- life working professionals. The tools and knowledge gained in EMGL, will not only be something that “stands out on a resume,” but will serve as a solid foundation of global business expertise that can be applied to careers in the future.

Breaking Protocol- EMGL Blog September 9th

At a typical college, many students regard the first week of classes as “syllabus week.” A normal professor hands out a ten- page syllabus outlining class topics and project due dates for the semester. While this is protocol, the classes at The Ohio State University do not always follow protocol, especially if a student is enrolled in the Emerging Market Global Lab to Brazil through the Fisher College of Business.
After being in school for more than thirteen years, one is well aware of how to arrive to class on time, take Cornell notes, and absorb a professor’s lesson. The tasks he or she is accustomed to doing in an academic environment are not as relevant in the Emerging Market Global Lab class.

Instead of the usual student-teacher relationship, this class is structured more like the real world with a boss-employee relationship. Instructions are given once orally and students are expected to raise their hands and ask questions for clarification because this is how it is done in the business world. If a boss gives an employee instructions, it would be absurd for the employee to email the boss later that night asking for clarification instead of asking immediately after the instructions were given. Students are treated as professional adults and are expected to conduct themselves as such. They will not be given step by step instructions on how to complete an assignment, but rather be required to problem solve and figure out what to do with loose parameters.

By the second week of class each student had already researched and prepared a presentation about their “understanding of emerging markets one week later.” Students had a maximum of four minutes to present their ideas and were cut off after the four minutes were up. This may seem harsh to some, but this is the reality of board meetings at Fortune 500 companies around the globe. An employee has a limited amount of time to present his or her thoughts about a certain topic. It is a vital skill to be able to communicate effectively and efficiently within a time constraint. Students will develop this skill over the course of the semester by giving multiple presentations and talking in front of the group. Students will also be working on many group projects on subjects such as the exportation of goods to emerging markets. They will learn how to collaborate in groups and how to work together for a common goal. While this class culminates with a two-week trip to Manaus, Brazil, majority of the learning happens inside the walls of the classroom. Many students want to take a class like this solely for the international trip at the end, but the information they learn from the semester course is knowledge that can be leveraged in a real-life occupation after college.

The students in EMGL are curious, outgoing and hungry for more knowledge. They are willing to work hard and are excited about what their future holds. This class has some intentional ambiguity on what the professor wants and expects out of students, but ambiguity fosters creativity and without strict guidelines, students have the potential and opportunity to surpass “expectations.”

Perth, Australia 1 Month Reflection

Six weeks ago, I left for my journey to study abroad. I spent two weeks in Southern China before traveling to Perth, Australia where I will study abroad during this autumn semester at Curtin University. Since that time, I can say that I have learned more in the last six weeks than I have at Ohio State in the previous three years. I have learned so much about culture, geography, language, business, people and most importantly, myself among countless other things. Having this experience firsthand is something I would not trade for anything in the world. Sitting in a classroom and reading a textbook will never provide the same thing, the same opportunity. Unfortunately, time is moving fast and I can’t believe I’ve been abroad for six weeks already, but it is important to reflect back on my journey so far and this blog post is the perfect way of doing so!

Quite honestly, after the first day of being in Australia, I couldn’t wait to go home. I couldn’t believe the situation I got myself into! My campus was far from the city center and everything was spread out unlike Columbus, Ohio. There are about 1,000 students living on campus and out of those 1,000, a good percentage of them are graduate students that are 35 years old or older! At Ohio State, there are about 10,000 students my own age living on campus and the other 50,000 at OSU live right around the campus in nearby off-campus housing. At Curtin, this wasn’t the case; everyone is spread out throughout the city and commutes to class maybe once or twice a week. You barely see them.

To make it worse, everything closes at 5pm and the WiFi was terrible! It was quiet, far from the beach or any form of shopping area and it was much colder than I expected. I was alone, 11,600 miles away from home, and the worst part…everything was so expensive! I had no idea how I would afford to be here. What was I thinking? I knew I could survive, but I didn’t know if I wanted to. I told myself that I have to stick with it, and it is what you make of it. I knew I was tough, but this would be a true test.
It took some adjusting, but within a week of being in Australia, I had a new bank account, a new phone number, new friends, a new home, but still something was missing.

First, let me tell you what wasn’t missing. It wasn’t a way of getting around. I’m way too independent to have to rely on Perth’s terrible public transportation or their expensive taxi’s. Instead I successfully figured a different form of transportation on my own.

It also wasn’t money. Within a few days of being here, Curtin offered me a $2,500 grant that I didn’t even apply for! They apparently looked at all of the incoming international students previous semester grades and gave scholarships to those who did well beforehand. This included myself. I wasn’t about to screw up the opportunity to go abroad and got a 3.7 GPA last semester, much higher than usual. Sure enough, it paid off, literally! The extra $2,500 was just what I needed to get by, and very conveniently, i’d say Australia is 25% more expensive. So that should give you an idea of what I’m spending to come here.

Here’s what was missing. True friendship. True relationships with people who cared about you. I knew that if I was going to survive here, I needed these true relationships. I was making a lot of new friends from all over the world, but I really wasn’t close with anyone yet. I experienced a similar thing when going to Ohio State the first year and being the emotionally outgoing and sociable guy that I am, it was hard. I knew it would take time, you don’t develop true friendships overnight, but when everyone else is 18,670 kilometers away (Yes another thing I learned was the conversions), you need someone to rely on.

First off, let me tell you that it is very obvious that there are groups around campus depending on each person’s cultural background. I also want to point out that the international students here all seem significantly more educated and enlightened than the typical people I am used to interacting with. Therefore, most of these people were bigger fish, they had more talent, more social skills and brighter futures. They like me, were also tough for being here on their own. We all share the same bond with the same love of travel. That’s why we’re all here. Based on this premise, I wanted to bring everyone together.

I initially made friends with all of the Brazilians, they were very friendly and very genuine. I felt very included, whenever I’d enter the conversation, they would stop speaking Portuguese and speak English to include me. None the less, I didn’t come here to just meet Brazilians, I came here to network with people from all over the world. I forced myself to go to another group. I then proceeded to start hanging out with the Swedes. They are also very great people. After that, I hung out with a group of mostly Europeans and after one night that I spent time with them, I was invited to join a Facebook group that they had. I felt loved and got a great vibe from them.

Finally, I chose to meet the Americans, most of whom all knew each other beforehand because they are on the same study abroad program. However, for myself, this wasn’t the case as I am on exchange. I made some American friends sure. It would have been easiest to develop those friendships sure, but quite honestly, I found I did not have things in common with this group  to connect. The interactions with the Brazilians were different. They looked you in the face and spoke with you. It was nice for a change because that’s who I am.

Here we are, a month later. I have met and made friends with people from the following countries in no particular order: Brazil, Belgium, Venezuela, Germany, Holland, England, Sweden, Lithuania, France, Russia, Switzerland, Scotland, the United States, Canada, Turkey, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Malaysia, Albania, Thailand, South Korea, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, China, India, Iran, places that I never even heard of like East Timor and Martinique, and last but definitely not least Australia! I’m probably forgetting a few, but you get the point.

Of course, I won’t be close with everyone, but now that I feel like I know almost everyone on campus, I can start developing these closer relationships with the people who matter to me, the genuinely good people. The people who I will keep in touch with for the rest of my life. And without even realizing, these people did start coming together just like I wanted. Over the weekend, I celebrated a Kraftskiva (a crayfish party) which is a Swedish tradition. Sure enough a handful of Brazilians and Europeans joined as well.

Now, a month later, I fear the day when I have to return home to the USA because I know how much I’ll miss it here. I’ve grown to love it in Australia and it is already turning into one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve found my way around and learned to love the same things the Aussies do. Not only the people matter, but I’ve adjusted to everything shutting down early and found the places that don’t. I’ve grown to love the always nice weather, the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been to, eating Kangaroo, and especially the laid back attitude which mirrors my personality.

Next week, I will head to the east coast to see Sydney and Melbourne. Yet, I am not nervous. I am excited for the opportunity to meet plenty of other people as I am staying at the best youth hostel in Australia which is also top 10 in the world. Traveling to Australia has already proven to be one of the most difficult things I have ever overcome as well as one of the best decisions of my life. It has forever strengthened my desire to keep traveling. I have decided that upon graduating from Ohio State in the spring of 2015, I will look to pursue my masters degree in Europe. I cannot wait to see what is in store over these remaining next three months as well as continue to develop the friendships I have made. I will cherish every moment of it!

An Introduction to Taking Whiskey Global

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This summer I am interning at Cleveland Whiskey through The Ohio Export Internship Program. My main project has been to create a “standard operating procedure” for exporting Cleveland Whiskey. I have been working on this in hopes that, when the company receives international inquiries, they will have a standard protocol to follow.

My work has primarily consisted of researching potential markets, creating document templates, and attempting to make sense of legal regulations. I’ve also been working local events and learning as much as I can about the business and the industry.

One of my favorite things about working for Cleveland Whiskey has been seeing people react positively to the brand.  It’s been exciting to work for a small company that has such a tremendous amount of potential. The current state of the global market for whiskey shows the implications of this potential for the work I’ve been doing.

Cleveland Whiskey is a newcomer in the twenty-five billion dollar premium whiskey industry.  Whiskey is an affordable luxury, not just in North America, but throughout the world. Bourbon and whiskey markets are flourishing and the demand for premium spirits is outpacing growth. In 2013 alone, bourbon demand increased by approximately 7%. Numerous suppliers have publicly stated that their supply will not be able to keep up with this growing demand. Cleveland Whiskey has a solution to this problem.

Typical whiskey production takes eight to twelve years to produce a class of properly aged bourbon. Cleveland Whiskey can produce comparably proper bourbon in less than one week using an accelerated aging process. This allows Cleveland Whiskey to increase their production to meet immediate needs while other companies must wait for their bourbon to reach a birthday before they can meet demands.  The ability to produce virtually unlimited amounts of high quality bourbon enables the company to be positioned well not only throughout the United States, but through many markets across the world.

With an impending international whiskey shortage due to increases in consumption and lagging production, Cleveland Whiskey has serious potential to penetrate new markets using its disruptive technology.

As exciting as all this information is, my focus has been on finding the best way to get Cleveland Whiskey ten feet outside of the distillery door. Exporting is a complicated business. Between the regulations, documentation, and complex logistics there are a lot of things to consider before committing to an international offer. The challenge so far has been to patiently prepare for a calculated entrance into the global whiskey market without getting distracted by all the enthusiasm surrounding the industry.