A team of GAP students interacting with a Drei Bond representative as part of their project.

Demonstrating the power and potential of private/public partnerships within Central Ohio, The Ohio State University Max M. Fisher College of Business and JobsOhio recently completed a global business project that is drawing high praise from a client half-way around the world.

A team of Fisher MBA students spent the spring semester working with Drei Bond, a German-based adhesives company, creating a strategy to help the company establish a viable presence in the U.S. market. The project, offered as part of the college’s  Global Applied Projects (GAP) program, was sponsored by JobsOhio.

“We’re grateful to JobsOhio for its continued support of a program that is creating real value for everyone involved in GAP,” said Dominic DiCamillo, executive director of Fisher’s Office of Global Business. “Our partnership with JobsOhio over the past five years exemplifies how educational institutions and economic development partners can, with a shared vision, work together to deliver wins for everyone involved ― from providing global learning experiences and perspectives for our students, to showcasing Ohio as a destination and provider of a talented workforce, to offering real companies with access to real, actionable insights capable of delivering meaningful impact.”

For students Ian Butters, Alison Landefeld, Jessica Lobmiller, Xantara Mossman and Tony Nagygyor ­― all of whom are enrolled in Fisher’s flexible Working Professional MBA program ― the program yielded an experience unlike any other. Following three months of intense preparation inside and outside of the classroom, the team traveled to Munich, Germany, for a weeklong consulting visit and presentation to Drei Bond leadership in March.

“Quite simply, the GAP experience was the perfect Capstone project at the end of my MBA,” Butters said. “It was transformative, empowering and incredible. The GAP project helped me grow in unexpected ways, and I am truly thankful for the opportunity to contribute to the company and my team.” 

“This experience is the highlight of other project-based work I’ve done in the program for sure,” Landefeld said. “Navigating a global business environment and a new-to-me industry puts a unique twist on applying the concepts that I’ve learned, and getting closer to the WPMBA cohort members in my group has been an added bonus. Being able to work with people from different perspectives and backgrounds has been a phenomenal learning experience and I’ve gained so much from them.”

In helping the company understand how to expand its operations into the U.S. market, the team conducted market research, completed a competitor analysis, and created a business plan. They provided Drei Bond leaders with cost analyses, marketing and sales strategies and implementation plans for target markets while accounting for consumer behavior, industry trends and logistical demands.

“This was the best experience! The students were exceptionally good,” said Severin Brandl, Drei Bond’s head of business development for North America, who worked closely as the point of contact for the MBA team. “We are all very satisfied with the work the students have provided. We received great new insights from them.”

Since its inception in 2013, GAP has worked with approximately 50 host companies and provided real-world work and consulting experience to more than 300 graduate students at Fisher.

The GAP program is one of many touchpoints at Fisher and Ohio State that align with JobsOhio’s mission to empower world-class corporations, entrepreneurs and talented individuals to build their businesses and careers in Ohio. The two organizations share a vested interest in creating the connections and establishing the talent pipelines that will help the region and state thrive in business and across industries.

“Hands-on experience with today’s dynamic business landscape is an invaluable opportunity for students,” said J.P. Nauseef, president and CEO of JobsOhio. “Through our sponsorship of the GAP program, JobsOhio connects international companies with the workforce of the future. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration with Ohio State University, which continues to be a rich talent pipeline for both domestic and international companies looking to grow in Ohio.”

“Navigating a global business environment and a new-to-me industry puts a unique twist on applying the concepts that I’ve learned, and getting closer to the WPMBA cohort members in my group has been an added bonus.” 

Alison LandefeldWorking Professional MBA student