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Tuesday, January 02, 2018
By Fay Al-Najadah (TREI Intern)
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On August 1st, 2017, I received an invitation to attend the X-culture symposium in Washington, D.C. Of the 30,000 past X-Culture participants, only 50 were invited to attend the Symposium this year. The symposium was held in Washington D.C. as part of the Academy of International Business’s (AIB-SE) fall regional meeting. Witnessing the collaboration between X-culture and AIB helped me realize how large the field of international business truly is. I felt encouraged to expand my education by looking at things from different lenses in the world of international business. As part of the program, I was assigned to work with teammates from New York, Miami, Oman, Italy, and Norway. We had one month to collectively research an analysis for Perkins Management services. Time management was one of the challenges my team had, as we were required to work virtually before we met in Washington D.C.


On October 26th, I met my team members, and other international students in Washington D.C. Additionally, Nicholas Perkins (CEO) and the staff of Perkins Management services were in attendance at our opening reception. He shared his role and passion for his company in a speech. Each team was then offered to choose one of Perkins staff to assist the team in preparation for their research and presentation. My team’s research coach specialized in quality assurance at Perkins Management services. She provided feedback on our work, and gave some suggestions in the way we should approach the challenge. My internship at the Global Opportunities Center requires me to consult rural companies in efforts to increase or begin their exporting. In doing that, I realize how exciting research can truly be. Because of this, I felt prepared and excited to begin my research.

On October 27th, we started our day by having a panel discussion with professors and PHD students titled “Being an academic researcher/Professor”. It was a very interesting workshop that convinced me to continue my higher education.


On October 28th, we started our day by having a small workshop about creating a unique elevator pitch, briefly describing our academic and work experience, and two professional qualifications to the CEO of a company we really wished to work for. Participants that wanted to compete on the elevator pitch were given a chance to practice with some experienced professors. The competition actually took place inside of two elevators. In the first round, I pitched my idea to the people in the first elevator. For the second round, we would be asked to go to the second elevator again, individually for our final competition. It was an interesting experience to learn that I need to improve my improvisation and negotiation skills. In addition, to the X-Culture activities I attended some sessions by the Academy of International Business. One of the interesting sessions that I enjoyed was a panel by Jorge Sigler Garcia, a graduate student from Florida Atlantic University talking about his research with other colleagues about a political risk analysis of the United Arab Emirates for the fashion industry.

The best gift you could ever have is to be connected with people who share the same purpose and interest as you. It is always exciting to attend international events, and conferences.

I thank Dr. Vas Taras for giving me the opportunity to attend the symposium for the second time. It is amazing to have a professor and a leader like Dr. Taras who generated a learning platform to connect students from all over the world to work together.



Friday, November 17, 2017
By Mingyan Li (TREI Intern)
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As an international student from China who studied at a university in the United States, I have always seen myself as a type of import to the states. This is easy to see since I am here in the States, which corresponds to the definition of an export in my mind – transport outside the origin country. My internship at the Global Opportunities (GO) Center consists of conducting research on exports in the Piedmont Triad Region. The concept of import and export that I cognize from my current research has overturned the original concept I had on the subject. I started to realize that being an international student in the United States makes me the receiver of an educational service, which is exported by the region where the educational institution is located (in my case, Greensboro, NC).  In a post by the International Trade Administration in the September 4th, 2012 issue ‘Education as a Top Service Export’, it is written that Education Service ranked high in the top ten service exports.

The consideration of international programs being a form of export seemed odd at first, however, it is also a fact that I pay to get educated and receive services provided by hired faculty. Although the service provided to me remains in the United States along with the institution, I am still a carrier of the aquired skills and knowledge. These skills and my knowledge would be exported out of the States at the point that I return home to China. I am proud of being an international student because I am both learning the culture of Americans in the States, and also bring my unique culture to the environment. November 13-17, 2017 is identified throughout the nation as International Education Week – an entire week created to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange. It is most valuable to me that I have the opportunity to learn and experience multiple cultures while studying abroad in a country so different from mine.

Friday, July 21, 2017
By Jake Hall
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"To help increase its reach, Network Kansas has launched a network of qualified entrepreneurship communities. The 'E-Community' initiative is a partnership that allows a town, a cluster of towns or a county to raise a local loan fund based on the Startup Kansas model through donations from individuals or community businesses."

NC has been involved with a number of centers to aid small businesses including the N.C. Community College Small Business Center Network and the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. For small business to flourish around the state, it would be beneficial for NC to learn from what Kansas has been doing with their small business economy.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
By Jake Hall
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BMW has invested 600 million dollars, creating 1,000 jobs in SC. BMW has followed suit to another well known automotive company Mercedes-Benz who last July invested 500 million dollars for their Sprinter Vans plant near Charleston. During the next 4 years, BMW's investment will increase exports from Charleston Port contributing to employment and economic growth in South Carolina. "The company touts the South Carolina plant as its largest worldwide, producing more than 411,000 X models last year. About 70 percent of BMWs made there are exported. Last year, the automaker reached a milestone when its 2 millionth BMW was exported from the Charleston port."

Thursday, July 06, 2017
By Lisanne Bluemel
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Asheville is the third best small town to visit in the USA: "U.S. News narrowed it down to places with a population of fewer than 100,000 that offer plenty of restaurants and attractions, plus have a unique character all their own."