North Central News

A world of international trade—close to home

Amanda Cortese ’17

Nov 15, 2016

Students who are members of North Central’s Entrepreneurship and International Business Organization (EIBO) obtained some real-world experience as they researched and presented an exporting strategy for a local electronic component manufacturer. They met with Michael Bryant, chief executive officer of Aurora-based AIR802, after spending six months researching the telecommunications equipment industry.

In EIBO, students are able to apply concepts and strategies from their classes to real-world business projects. The student organization imports extra virgin olive oil from Greece and sells it around campus and the community. This provides students with a hands-on look at the entire importing process and the olive oil industry.

After gaining familiarity with the importing process, EIBO members wanted to learn more about the opposite side of international trade: exporting. To do this, they paired with the local manufacturer that is already established in the United States and Chile but is looking to expand further. “AIR802 believes it’s critical to place considerable effort into exports to other countries,” says Bryant. “It’s a key part of our plans.”

The students researched the telecommunications equipment industry by looking at competitors to AIR802, market trends and external forces that affect companies within the industry. Based on their findings, they developed recommendations of three countries—India, Germany and South Africa—with ideal business environments for AIR802’s products, like antennas, cable and power-over-Ethernet injection devices EIBO members and international business majors Victor Krueeger ’19, Madison Adamski ’19, Anthony Colon ’18 and Amanda Cortese ’17 (photo, right)) presented their findings to AIR802.

The project was a benefit for business and students, alike. According to Bryant, “AIR802 partnered with EIBO to see what markets we should pursue initially in a more aggressive manner. We also thought it would be important to provide valuable experience for students.”

“Since one of my majors is international business, this project helped me get a feel for what I would be doing in the real world,” says EIBO member Danielle McCauliff ’18, who helped with the research and presentation.

Madison Adamski ’19 agrees. “My career goals include helping a company increase its profitability by taking products overseas and working in either an international marketing or finance department,” she says. “This project definitely gave me a taste of what that will entail.”

Robert Moussetis, faculty advisor for EIBO and professor of international business, notes the importance of these projects for students. “Unlike sciences, the lab for business is the interaction with the business community; therefore, applied business is the best method to prepare,” he says. “The more interaction students have with real projects and responsibilities for a company, the more prepared they will be to enter the workforce.”

By Amanda Cortese ’17