UND & NDTO Export Course
The College of Business & Public Administration partnered with the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) developed a new innovative course to educate students on export management.
The inaugural course was held at the UND Center for Innovation Sept. 2 - Nov. 25, 2009. Approximately 40 UND business students and 13 business leaders participated in the Export Management Training Course.
The course is designed to prepare business students and business leaders for expansion into the global marketplace. Attendees learn how to identify export business opportunities in foreign markets and how to avoid the common and not-so -common missteps that can create regulatory headaches and strip businesses of customers and profits.
“This course gives business leaders and students an overall training to take them through the export process,” said North Dakota Trade Office Communications Director, Jeff Zent. Participants were introduced to international business professionals and a peer network that shared real-life experiences regarding the critical elements of operating an export business. Emerging and experienced exporters are taking advantage of this educational opportunity to further their education, as well as providing valuable hands-on experiences with university students. University of North Dakota graduate students are also working as “export assistants” in North Dakota businesses.
“This course was very non-traditional and had a much more interactive learning approach. It provided us with very practical step by step guidelines on how to take a local business internationally,” said Senior Accounting Major, Katya Bryleva.
Many skilled instructors participated in the course. For example, Dean Adams, principal brand strategist for Level Brand Inc. of Minneapolis and a former marketing director for 3M Corporation was a key instructor. Adams shared his expertise in developing a global brand identity. Robert Pelka, Vice President of structured trade finance, Wells Fargo HSBC Trade Bank N.A., shared options available to finance an export business. There were many other prominent instructors and panel discussants involved as well.
Dr. Fathollah Bagheri served as the lead faculty for this course, writing the course syllabus, conducting recruitment of students, coordination of instructions, and a lecturer for the first session. Bagheri conducts all academic evaluations and student grades as well as preparing all reading materials for the course.
“We are pleased with our collaboration with NDTO in this endeavor that started more than a year ago. The course was developed and offered with the idea of a hands-on-approach to learning the fundamentals of managing an export business and was taught by the prominent and experienced business managers at the right time in light of President Obama’s new goal to double our exports over the next five years to create 2 million jobs right here in America, as he indicated in his State of Union Address,” said Professor Fathollah Bagheri in a news release.
Some of the course topics include: gaining global visibility, development and negotiation of international contracts, country opportunity analysis, financing export businesses and getting paid, global brand identity, and freight management.
The Future of this course looks strong as UND and NDTO are about to hold their third session in fall 2011. “We will use our experiences from the first session to enhance the course and work on facilitating more interaction with business leaders and students,” said Bagheri. Current business professionals in the export industry can enroll in this course for non-credit through the North Dakota Trade Office and will receive the class certification. Classes for business professionals are flexible as you can attend one or all of the sessions based on your primary focus area. “Different people can attend different sessions, or can complete it as a team,” says Jeff Zent, NDTO.
For more information on registering for this course for Academic Credit at UND, contact Fathollah Bagheri at 701.777.3352. For industry professionals contact Sharon May at the North Dakota Trade Office at 701.231.1158.