December 10, 2003

LOS ANGELES — Working in partnership with New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, a partner now for three International Field Study projects, students in the Fully Employed MBA Program at UCLA Anderson School of Management have assisted seven companies over the last six months with a variety of consulting projects aimed at helping them develop and expand their businesses in new markets.

Through the U.S. Market Access Program (MAP), FEMBA students were able to put the skills they learn into practice in real-world situations. Through in-person and teleconference sessions this week in UCLA Anderson's Korn Convocation Hall, the students presented the results of their efforts to executives from the seven companies that participated in the program, as well as UCLA Anderson faculty and other local business executives, including FEMBA alumni, from companies such as Amgen, Disney, Boeing, SBC, Avnet and Vivometrics.

The students' presentations culminated six months of research, which saw students traveling to New Zealand in August and September to meet with the companies as part of their research. Some students even traveled locally in the States as they prepared business plans and models designed to help these companies grow.

This year's U.S. MAP is the third program in which UCLA Anderson has collaborated with New Zealand Trade & Enterprise. Last year, FEMBA students consulted on a sector study in the areas of health IT, wireless, software, biotechnology and creative/new media, and in 1996 students performed a sector study in the areas of wood products, shellfish, cervena, lamb and entertainment.

Click here for profiles of companies participating in this year's U.S. Market Access Program.

"The U.S. Market Access Program is an example of our program's strategy of teaching management tools and frameworks and then having students apply them clinically in an actual business setting," said Dr. Victor Tabbush, associate dean of the FEMBA Program at UCLA Anderson. "MAP is particularly beneficial because the context is international and entrepreneurial, elements at which UCLA Anderson excels and in which our students have strong interests."

The FEMBA International Field Study benefits students by enabling them to:

  • Integrate, apply and extend the FEMBA curriculum in the context of a hands-on, top-level business consulting experience.
  • Learn the complexities and subtleties of doing business internationally.
  • Develop business research skills that will be helpful to supporting business decision-making.
  • Utilize team processes and efforts to accomplish a large, complex and challenging business problem.
  • Employ state-of-the-art web-based communications and project management tools.

The benefits for companies participating in U.S. MAP include:

  • Speeding up the development of their market entry strategies for North America.
  • Establishing business relationships with the U.S. students and their industry contacts.
  • Getting input and feedback from UCLA Anderson faculty and local business executives.

The U.S. Market Access Program links UCLA Anderson faculty and students with entrepreneurs across the globe. The students research and develop business and strategic marketing plans for the fledgling companies, gleaning valuable experience in entrepreneurship and international business. Meanwhile, the firms benefit from the students' work.

According to Bonny Kim, a FEMBA program manager, students participating in International Field Study are typically employed full time and have an average of five years of work experience, bringing significant expertise to the participating organizations. Kim noted that the students, who are in their final year of study at UCLA Anderson, take at least two classes per quarter and many have families, so they're dealing with the work/school/life balance — all while traveling and working on this international consulting project.

"International Field Study demonstrates the rigor of the UCLA Anderson FEMBA Program and the commitment, dedication and hard work of our students in the program," said Kim.

"The FEMBA Market Access Program has truly been a rewarding experience," commented FEMBA student Paraag Lal. "What at first might have seemed to be an easy business plan and project to develop, given the significant level of education, knowledge and experience of the FEMBA teams, turned out to be beneficially challenging."

Lal has worked in the technology sector for several years at industry giant Intel. Through the International Field Study project, he was finally able to experience the challenges that a small technology start up confronts in establishing their brand, market and presence - a tall order, he notes, without the deep pockets of industry giants like his employer.

"I found it very beneficial to be exposed to the continual fluctuations and new directions that our project company morphed into over the span of six months, in order to adapt to the fast evolving market," said Lal. "The whole process was definitely a humbling experience and one in which I developed much respect for those brave entrepreneurs who venture out on their own to search for their 'pot of gold' - whether it be wealth, passion or simply dedication to their profession."

About UCLA Anderson School of Management

UCLA Anderson School of Management is perennially ranked among the top-tier business schools in the world. Award-winning faculty renowned for their research and teaching, highly selective admissions, successful alumni and world-class facilities combine to provide an extraordinary learning environment. Established in 1935, UCLA Anderson provides management education to more than 1,400 students enrolled in full-time, part-time and executive MBA programs and doctoral programs.

UCLA Anderson's faculty includes outstanding educators and researchers who share their scholarship and expertise in such fundamental areas as finance, marketing, accounting, business economics, decision sciences, operations and technology management, human resources and organizational behavior, information systems, strategy and policy.

Recognizing that the school offers unparalleled expertise in management education, the world's business community turns to UCLA Anderson School of Management as a center of influence for the ideas, innovations, strategies and talent that will shape the future.

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