That is why Kellogg recently launched International Growth Lab. The course enables Kellogg students to partner with students from ESADE Business & Law School in Barcelona and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to develop market-based growth strategies for international companies.
Kyle Bell is one of the Kellogg students currently taking the course. He and three of his Kellogg classmates are partnering with three students from ESADE to develop an e-commerce strategy for a multinational company dedicated to developing solutions for sustainable water use.
Kyle took some time to talk about the course and what he hopes to gain from the experience.
WHY DID THE INTERNATIONAL GROWTH LAB COURSE APPEAL TO YOU?
There were two reasons the course jumped out to me — one personal and one professional. I’ll be going into consulting after school, so to be able to gain another experiential learning opportunity in consulting before graduating was appealing. And on a personal level, I lived in Madrid for a year teaching English after college. I liked the country and wanted an excuse to travel more.
WHAT MAKES THIS CLASS DIFFERENT FROM SOME OF THE OTHER ONES YOU’VE TAKEN?
One thing that makes this class different from the other experiential learning courses is that you get to work with a group of students from another business school. That seemed like a fun experience, and also a good one so that I can build the communication skills I need to work at a global company. Getting to work with a truly global team on a truly global project is a different type of experience. That’s probably the most valuable thing for me.
HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK IT IS TO HAVE THAT INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE?
I think it’s critical. For anyone coming out of business school, it’s an essential skill and experience to have.
WHAT HAVE THE FIRST FEW WEEKS OF THE COURSE LOOKED LIKE FOR YOU?
The first week of the course was one of the travel components, so we spent the first week on site in Barcelona. We got to know the other students we’d be working with and also had introductory meetings with the client. There were also general kickoff meetings, factory tours and other site visits. Since coming back to Kellogg, we’ve focused on putting together a project plan for the rest of the quarter.
The Kellogg students and ESADE students interact with one another via videoconferencing and other technologies at least twice a week. The ESADE students will travel to Kellogg later in the quarter, and the Kellogg students will return to Barcelona at the end of the quarter to deliver their final presentation.