This is the GBP website containing information for MBA students. If you are looking for information about becoming a GBP client company, please visit our client company site.

If you are looking for information about GBP 2015, please check back. The website will be updated later this spring. The Global Business Project (GBP) is a collaborative program offered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison CIBER and eleven other participating universities. This three-credit, graduate-level course puts teams of five to seven MBA students together from leading business schools to work solving real problems facing companies wanting to improve their global competitiveness. This year, the program will feature projects in Brazil, China, and India. Recent projects have included:

  • Developing a strategy for a pharmaceutical company as it enters a new foreign market
  • Optimizing a biotech company's supply chain for a given market
  • Recommending television programming for a multimedia company to offer based on trends in a specific market
  • Improving operations efficiency for an agricultural company
  • Advising a company on ensuring product quality in a new foreign market
  • Creating a "reverse innovation" strategy for a software company
  • Researching Sino-U.S. trade for a multinational bank
  • Improving the customer experience in China for a company that makes industrial coatings
  • Evaluating potential new subsidiary sites for a fabric and craft producer
  • Analyzing the global pricing strategy of a refiner and exporter of specialty chemicals  

In their assigned projects, MBA students apply functional, cross-cultural, foreign language, and virtual teamwork skills to produce strategic advice that is focused, compelling, and actionable. One to two students per team are required to be fluent in the local language of the country where their project is focused.

This project is made possible through the efforts of a consortium of CIBERs across the country. The UNC Chapel Hill CIBER serves as the central organizing body, and coordinates efforts with the other CIBER/GBP Consortium members. The CIBER at the University of Wisconsin-Madison manages Wisconsin’s participation in the program. In cooperation with Wisconsin School of Business MBA program staff, CIBER staff interview and rank all Wisconsin GBP applicants in advance of the national GBP application deadline in an effort to contribute some of Wisconsin’s very best MBA students to GBP teams. The Wisconsin CIBER also provides funding to Wisconsin GBP participants to help offset program expenses.

Students are not paid for their work as part of GBP, but receive academic credit. Sponsoring clients and the participating CIBERs share the direct costs of the program, including faculty and staff oversight and team expenses in-country. Students also contribute toward the cost of their participation.

After reviewing GBP information on this site, please visit the Global Business Project website hosted by UNC Chapel Hill for additional details.

Read about the experiences of student participants in GBP 2013:

Program Costs

$3,500 program fee per student

$350 estimated round-trip airfare to Washington, D.C. for Launch Weekend (February 7-9, 2014)

$1,500 estimated round-trip airfare to project country

Miscellaneous expenses: passport and visa fees

CIBER Scholarships

The University of Wisconsin-Madison CIBER will award up to 8-10 scholarships in the $1000 - $ 2000 range. We are exploring other funding possibilities with the hopes of increasing the number of GBP scholarships.

The $3,500 program fee includes hotel stay and most meals during Launch Weekend in Washington, D.C. in February, as well as hotel stay and all meals during the in-country segment of the course in May.

Important Dates

September
  • 17th – Information session to be held in the conference room of the MBA program office, 2450 Grainger Hall, 12:15 to 1:00 p.m.
  • 30th – Information session to be held in the conference room of the MBA program office, 2450 Grainger Hall, 12:15 to 1:00 p.m.
October
  • 2nd – Information session to be held in the conference room of the MBA program office, 2450 Grainger Hall, 12:15 to 1:00 p.m.
  • 15th – Client applications due
  • 15th – Wisconsin MBA applications due by 11:59 p.m. Submit online via UNC website. Applications are automatically sent to both Debbie Williams at UNC and Susan Huber Miller at Wisconsin.
  • 21st through 24th - Interviews for Wisconsin applicants to be held in the MBA program office 
  • 30th – National GBP Student application deadline
November
  • 16th – Match letters sent to students
  • 21st – Signed acceptance letters and deposit due from students
December
  • 15th – Balance of student and school fees are due
February
  • 7th through 9th – GBP launch in Washington, D.C. (required)
March
  • 15th – Kickoff meeting with client (virtual)
  • 15th through May 4th – Virtual work with team
May
  • 16th through 18th – Hub City Weekend in your project country (required)
  • 19th through 30th – In-country work (required)

Sponsors

The Global Business Project is made possible by the involvement and support of the following CIBER schools:

  • Columbia University
  • George Washington University
  • Purdue University
  • San Diego State University
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Miami
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

International Partners:

  • UNISINOS
  • Lingnan College
  • Indian Institute of Management - Udaipur

Comments from past Global Business Project participants

“GBP was a rigorous, deep business challenge that went way beyond what I could have learned in a classroom environment. I also got tremendous experience working across cultures and international boundaries. The differences between cultures are very real in business, and it takes practice to really understand how to manage those differences.”

- Erik Dawson, 2013 Wisconsin GBP participant
(Dorf Ketal team, India)

“The main benefits of GBP for me were growth, on a professional and a personal level, and confidence. The pace of GBP is lightning-fast and the resources are limited. As a result, I tapped into skills I wasn’t even aware I possessed, and also learned a lot from my teammates. I believe the single most valuable benefit of GBP is that it puts you in a challenging environment with an extremely intelligent, diverse group of people. The majority of my learning was the result of interactions with my team. When it came time for my internship the following summer, I felt prepared to solve any problem I encountered.”

- Michael Hitchcock, 2013 Wisconsin GBP participant
(Monsanto team, Brazil)

“It was incredibly exciting to work with a giant in the global banking industry and in a field that is directly related to the supply chain discipline. Through videoconferences, my team stayed well-connected with one another and with our client throughout the semester as we developed the project. Once in Shanghai, our team switched into the roles of professional consultants living and working in the commercial capital of China. We conducted our final interviews and visits with key clients and competitor banks. At the end of it all, we successfully presented our research, analysis, and final recommendations to top Citibank executives, including the CEO of Citibank China. The experience of presenting to such high-profile executive leaders of a major international bank: absolutely priceless. The workload was intense and much heavier than any other MBA class I've taken. But neither this sort of learning, nor the invaluable rewards gained from it, exist in a textbook or a classroom.”

- Thushan Hemachandra, 2013 Wisconsin GBP participant
(Citibank team, China)

“GBP was a great addition to my MBA curriculum! I was the project leader of a team that worked with AGCO, an agricultural equipment manufacturer in Brazil, and I had an awesome team of fellow MBAs across various universities. The challenge of managing a virtual team of client resources, MBA team members, and a faculty advisor was an incredible—and practical—experience. Not only was it a fantastic learning experience, but I have great connections and memories from our trip that I will keep for a lifetime! I highly recommend the GBP to all MBA students.”

- Sarah Wright, 2012 Wisconsin GBP participant
(AGCO team, Brazil)

“I was chosen as project manager for our GBP team. The best parts of my experience with GBP included learning how to manage a virtual team in an international context while conducting research and developing recommendations for our client. Working on a cross-cultural, real-life business problem cannot be matched in a classroom setting… I felt it was the best learning experience of my semester. The issues I encountered and the problems solved cannot be matched by any other experience. I truly believe that all students would benefit from a similar experience.”

- Matthew Reuer, 2011 Wisconsin GBP participant
(Grupo RBS team, Brazil)

2014 Wisconsin Global Business Project Participants



Lisa Kirkwood, MBA ’15, Supply Chain Management

Client: AGCO 
Location: Argentina 
Project: AGCO is a manufacturer of agricultural equipment. My team has been asked to investigate options and recommend the optimal location for a new parts warehouse in Argentina.

Olley_Tosan

Tosan Olley, MBA ’15, Corporate Finance and Investment Banking

Client: Handwriting Without Tears 
Location: India
Project: Handwriting Without Tears develops and publishes student workbooks, manipulative tools, and teacher guides to help children learn handwriting, and is widely used in the United States. My team will focus on the feasibility of entering the Indian market.

Patel Mitesh

Mitesh Patel, MBA ’14, Real Estate

Client: Plateno Hotels Group 
Location: China 
Project: Plateno is a leading hotel group in China, with 30,000 employees and hotel properties ranging from budget to high-end. My team has been asked to conduct an analysis of overseas markets, identify those best suited to Plateno’s hotel brands, and recommend a strategy for entry.


Christopher Peters, MBA ’15, Operations and Technology Management

Client: GE Infrastructure
Location: Brazil 
Project: My team has been asked to identify business opportunities for GE in Brazil and Mexico and recommend a roadmap and timeline for staged roll out, with a focus on the sectors of water treatment and sewage, urban transportation systems, ports, and airports.

Plunkett_Brian

Brian Plunkett, MBA ’15, Corporate Finance and Investment Banking

Client: M + W
Location: China
Project: Project: M+W is a world-leading construction, project management, and engineering company in high-tech business segments. My team has been asked to analyze industry segments and customer trends to recommend the best growth opportunities over a medium-term time horizon.

Rincon_Leopoldo

Leopoldo Rincón, MBA ’15, Corporate Finance and Investment Banking

Client: Spectrum Brands 
Location: Brazil
Project Description: Spectrum Brands is a U.S.-based multinational consumer products conglomerate best known for small kitchen appliances and batteries. My team has been asked to provide guidance on branding, positioning, legal issues, importing versus producing locally, and other aspects of market entry strategy for the company's home and garden business.


Vishnu Tadepalli, MBA ’15, Supply Chain Management

Client: AGCO
Location: Argentina
Project Description: AGCO is a manufacturer of agricultural equipment. My team has been asked to investigate options and recommend the optimal location for a new parts warehouse in Argentina.

2013 Wisconsin Global Business Project Participants


Michael Hitchcock

Michael Hitchcock, MBA '14, Operations and Technology Management, Certificate in Strategic Innovation

Client: Monsanto
Location: Brazil
Role: Research coordinator
Project: Monsanto is the lead supplier of corn seeds worldwide, as well as a leader in biotechnology solutions for seed crops, including soybeans and corn. Our project is to assess the tools available in Brazil to track operations efficiency. We are working with their manufacturing director to provide detailed recommendations for those tools deemed to be the best fit for the company, with an implementation schedule for optimal results.

Thushan Hemachandra

Thushan Hemachandra, MBA '14, Supply Chain Management

Client: Citibank
Location: China
Role: Research coordinator
Project: Citibank is a leading global financial institution and the largest foreign bank in China. The executives at Citibank have asked our team to research trade flows and supply chain patterns between the U.S. and China, and to identify untapped new business opportunities for their trade business, including new letter of credit opportunities, new trade finance products, and foreign exchange hedging techniques (including RMB).

Dobranszky-Torok_Julianna

Julianna Dobranszky, MBA '14, Brand and Product Management

Client: Springs Creative Products Group LLC
Location: China
Role: Promotions and social media
Project: Springs Creative is a leading supplier of retail fabrics, packaged crafts, and specialty licensed products to major and independent retailers. Our group has been asked to evaluate one or more new sites, benchmarking them against SCSTC and competitor sites to recommend both adoption of and alterations in the current processes.

Garcia-Guzman_Mayra

Mayra Garcia Guzman, MBA '14, Supply Chain Management

Client: GE Healthcare
Location: Brazil
Role: Logistics officer
Project: GE Healthcare is a global company focusing on research and development in biotechnology, vaccines, and genomics. Our team has been asked to focus on the order-to-cash cycle within the supply chain, with an emphasis on demand planning, inventory controls, information flow, customer satisfactions, and cost-to-serve. Our project scope includes resource planning and allocation within the context of an ERP system.

Eric Dawson

Erik Dawson, MBA '13, Brand and Product Management

Client: Dorf Ketal
Location: India
Role: Promotions and social media
Project: Dorf Ketal is a world leader in refining and in the export of specialty chemicals, plastic additives, and catalysts. Our project involves analyzing Dorf Ketal’s current pricing strategy and practices for its top 20 global products. We will recommend the adoption of pricing strategy management systems that would allow product managers to assume full control in setting and managing gross margin targets. Management's expectations are that our recommendations will enable Dorf Ketal to expand gross margins by at least two full margin points over a period of 12 months.


2012 Wisconsin GBP Participants


Evan Meyer

Evan Meyer, MBA 2013, Supply Chain Management

Client: Dorf Ketal 
Location: Mumbai, India 
Role: Project Leader 
Project: Dorf Ketal, a specialty chemicals manufacturer that provides titanium-based catalysts to customers in a wide variety of manufacturing industries. Our project aimed to reduce operating costs by optimizing DK’s supply chain, focusing on transportation and inventory management.

Sally Theiler

Sally Theiler, MBA 2013, Brand and Product Management

Client: Westinghouse Electric Company 
Location: India: Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi 
Project: We developed a strategy for Westinghouse to enter the India market and navigate the political process for bringing nuclear reactors to market. We tried to develop an understanding of the process that will involve government, businesses, and communities. The year before the GBP performed a similar analysis for the China market that produced strong results.

Doug Stuckey

Doug Stuckey, MBA 2013, Supply Chain Management

Client: Phawat 
Location: Thailand 
Role: Language/Culture Officer 
Project: Phawat is a logistics broker which arranges and schedules transportation of materials from suppliers to manufacturers. Our project focused on reducing inefficiencies in Phawat's operations and identifying ways to decrease the total time and cost of logistics for the company's largest customer, Nissan.

Aaron Anderson

Aaron Anderson, MBA 2013, Marketing Research

Client: Sakchai Furniture Group 
Location: Bangkok, Thailand 
Role: Logistics Coordinator 
Project: Our team was tasked with developing a growth strategy for our furniture client. There were two primary components to this business issue: 
1) What countries can the company export to? 
2) What style of domestic furniture should the client be manufacturing to meet consumer preferences?

Yu Tang

Yu Tang, MBA 2013, Operations and Technology Management

Client: Amgen Inc; the world’s largest biotechnology company, specializing in the discovery, development, manufacture, and delivery of innovative human therapeutics. 
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil 
Role: Content Lead 
Project: In 2011, Amgen purchased Bergamo, a Brazilian pharmaceutical company that specializes in producing generic drugs and reacquired the rights for distribution. Amgen would like to complete its integration with Bergamo and establish operations in Brazil.

Sarah Wright

Sarah Wright, MBA 2013, Operations and Technology Management

Client: AGCO Corp 
Location: Porto Alegre, Brazil 
Role: Project Leader 
Project Description: GBP team worked with AGCO do Brazil’s marketing resources to create a profitable merchandising strategy that promotes brand recognition within Brazil. The GBP team analyzed and presented recommendations for operations, distribution, target markets, and cultural shifts for the merchandising strategy.

Stephen Jaramillo

Stephen Jaramillo, MBA 2013, Brand and Product Management

Client: Dorf Ketal 
Location: Mumbai, India 
Role: Logistics Coordinator 
Project Description: Dorf Ketal is an Indian based manufacturer of specialty chemicals. Our goal was to provide recommendations that will take $600,000 worth of cost out of their supply chain.

Missy Anderson

Melissa Anderson, MBA 2013, Operations and Technology Management

Client: PPG 
Location: Mumbai, India 
Role: Research Analyst 
Project: Improve Operating Margins in India PPG 
Scope: Conduct competitor analysis, price/product mix analysis, tax/currency analysis, and supply chain/manufacturing analysis to locate the opportunity areas for margin improvement.

Application Information

To be considered for support and recommendation by the Wisconsin CIBER, MBA students must submit an application by October 15, 2013. (For best results, use Internet Explorer or Safari to complete your application; some applicants have reported encountering problems when using other browsers.)