March 21, 2014

Fisher global programs contribute to university honor

Global learning, real-world results

In an example of collaboration across disciplines, business students from Fisher have partnered with engineering students to address the issue of food security, an Ohio State Discovery Theme.

In 2013, the College of Engineering successfully installed an aquaponics system, technology that grows fish and vegetables without soil, in a village in Honduras. Subsequently, undergraduate business students Brandy Alexander, Kat Dickey and Nate Roberto worked with Fisher faculty member Judith Tansky to explore whether the village could sustain a small business around aquaponics.

During a trip to Honduras last year, the team met with stakeholders and identified key issues. It then created a business model to plan for everything from procurement of supplies to financing the systems. The students plan to return to Honduras along with engineering students in May to build two aquaponics systems and to ensure a smooth business hand-off to in-country partners.

Said Alexander: “I loved that I could apply the business skills I’ve learned for four years to a global project with so much potential to aid in a more secure food supply and the betterment of lives.”

The Ohio State University has been selected to receive the 2014 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. This prestigious recognition, awarded by the NAFSA: Association for International Educators, recognizes institutions for excellence in internationalization efforts.

Fisher College of Business -- through the Office of Global Business, Center for International Business Education and Research (one of only 33 CIBERs in the U.S.), and numerous programs and offerings at the undergraduate and graduate student levels -- continues to play a critical role at Ohio State in ensuring students have opportunities for meaningful, project-based experiences across the globe.

"The way in which Fisher is able to engage future leaders with globally minded organizations and in markets around the world is a shining light in our university's efforts to internationalize the student learning experience," said William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs at Ohio State. "These programs speak to the unique and forward-thinking efforts that the Simon Award recognizes."

Below are just a few of the enriched, global offerings at Fisher, providing value to students as well as today’s leading companies and organizations:

  • Global Applied Projects – teams of select graduate students carry out consulting projects for client firms and organizations across industries; program includes rigorous research/preparation phase followed by in-country immersion to finalize and present findings to top management
  • Export Internship Program – nationally recognized initiative in partnership with the Ohio Development Services Agency pairs students with small to midsize companies looking to expand export outreach; interns have helped companies achieve $7.7 million in expected global sales
  • Summer Global Internship Programs – engage students in live project work through intensive, eight-week internships customized to student skill sets and company needs; countries range from Australia, France and Germany to Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore

Overall, total participation in global programs increased 30 percent in 2013-2014, according to Kurt Roush, executive director of the Office of Global Business at Fisher. Along with more options for both undergraduate and graduate students, Roush credited the college’s growing international partnerships.

“One of the reasons we’re seeing more and more students taking part in these successful programs is because we have a vast network of alumni and friends that partner with us to offer increased, enriched opportunities,” Roush said. “These professionals work in companies of all sizes, nonprofits and startups around the globe -- and they’ve taken a great interest in helping to prepare the next generation.”