July 31, 2014  

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International Business Students Partner with Area Clients on Project

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Representatives from Howard Industries listen to a team of Southern miss international business students deliver their capstone class presentations. (University communications photo by Van Arnold)

For some international business students at The University of Southern Mississippi, completing a senior capstone project involved learning trade agreements and export regulations in countries as far away as France.

A group of 25 students (assembled into eight teams) in Dr. John Lambert’s IB 472 class spent the spring semester working with designated “clients” to create new strategies for improving/expanding their export business.

“Several teams were in contact not only with business and government officials in the U.S., but also abroad in the areas of focus for their export activities,” said Lambert. “This applied-learning project for international business students builds upon the theoretical foundation that they have learned in their academic careers by putting them on the front lines of the exporting process.”

One of the student teams included Katherine Love of Jackson, Miss.; Blair Thornton of Amory, Miss.; Brianne Painia of New Orleans and Kareanna Johnson of Florence, Miss. Their team worked with representatives from Howard Industries on developing export opportunities in France.

“It was a lot of hard work, but fun also,” said Johnson. “We had several meetings with them and spent the entire semester focused on this project. But I have always enjoyed doing research and learning about companies here and overseas.”

Located in Laurel, Miss., Howard Industries is currently the world's largest manufacturer of distribution transformers. Kristi Bush, a channel supervisor at Howard, said the capstone presentations yielded informative and potentially rewarding results.

“I thought they were very well put together; excellent presentations that were exactly what we were looking for,” said Bush. “It was most helpful to learn more about how other countries conduct business. We definitely plan to follow up with some of the teams on their ideas.”

To learn more about the Department of Management and International Business at Southern Miss call 601.266.4673 or visit: http://www.usm.edu/business/management-international_business