Business & Culture: A Virtual Practicum (USA, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon)
WDI is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary organization. As a result, it often engages multiple sector and services teams in our work. The following project undertaken by both our Education sector and Performance Measurement and Improvement service demonstrates our holistic approach. The Education sector is implementing Business & Culture: A Virtual Practicum—a classroom-to-classroom, action-learning course on international business cultures that brings together undergraduate students from Egypt, Libya and the U.S., supported by the Stevens Initiative. The course will run five times at the Ross School of Business, starting in Winter 2020. Participants will attend lectures by international faculty, work on interregional teams through synchronous and asynchronous exchange, employ field research methods to learn about one another’s business cultures and create a final project that captures their cross-cultural learnings. The program equips young people in the U.S. and MENA region with the competencies they need to communicate, problem-solve and collaborate in a global team environment—all essential 21st century skills in an interconnected world. In collaboration with the Education sector, the Performance Measurement and Improvement service is leading the design and implementation of an impact evaluation of the program on students in the U.S., Libya, Lebanon and Egypt. In addition to assessing the impact of the program on student outcomes (e.g. empathy, cross-cultural communication skills, business skills and knowledge), the data is being used to improve the course and develop generalizable knowledge on how to increase the impact of virtual exchange courses.