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Spring Break to be “Working Vacation” for Ten IPFW Students

For many college students, Spring Break means sun, sand, and no studying. That won’t be the case for the ten Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) students who make up the D-490 Special Studies in International Business class in the Doermer School of Business and Management Sciences (DSBMS). They and four faculty members will be going to China to get an up close and personal look at how business is done in the Asian nation.

While in China the class will visit four cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, and half a dozen different companies. They will also tour the Yu Garden in Shanghai and Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Each year, the class conducts market research for a local or area company. After analyzing the collected data and formulating international business and marketing plans, the team makes a presentation to the company’s managers. This year, the team will collect data for Leepoxy Plastics of Fort Wayne. Last year, one of the two businesses involved with the class project was Vera Bradley. In a letter to Otto Chang, dean of DSBMS, Sachin Shah of Vera Bradley noted the team’s final presentation “...completely exceeded any expectations I may have had prior to the project.”  Sachin further commented, “If one would ask me how much we would pay for an equivalent deliverable from a consulting firm, I would estimate a dollar amount close to six figures.” 

The members of the 2010 team are Diego Arteaga, Cole Buffenbarger, Matthew Earnest, Katherine Kawiecki, Jessica Niese, Jeremy Overly, Nicholas Rolf, Katlyn Van Driessche, Adam Westgerdes, and Allyson Winebar. Faculty members are Susan Byers, Joseph Khamalah, Xioaling Pang, and Otto Chang.

The D490 students must first be invited to apply for admission to the class; after accepting the invitation to apply they must still pass various criteria before being accepted. Susan Byers, director of the DSBMS Student Center, said about half the invited students applied and from those the ten class members were selected.

Students and faculty will leave Fort Wayne Friday, March 5, and return Tuesday, March 16.