Thursday, December 17, 2009

Undergrads take 2nd place in Spanish-language case competition

Congratulations to Kelley undergraduates Alan Hearth, Nic Perfetti and Ethan Bradley for taking second place in a business language case competition at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah on December 4, 2009. Joel Rubin was the team's faculty advisor.

Currently in its third year, the business language case competition is for non-native Spanish and Portuguese speakers and is the nation's only such contest. Participants are tested on their language and cultural skills.

"By learning how to do business in their target language, students will open doors for networking and build relationships that are unique to bilingual businesspeople," says Sherstin Creamer, competition director.

In the Spanish portion of the Nov. 13 competition, Utah State University won first place, followed by Indiana University and the University of Washington. In the Portuguese portion, teams from Brigham Young University took first and second place, with Brigham Young University-Idaho placing third.

For this year's case, teams presented an international business strategy for Walmart. The teams, which consisted of three students each, were required to present entirely in Spanish or Portuguese and were judged on language ability, depth of analysis and effective delivery.

Competition winners received a trophy and cash prize from BYU's Kay and Yvonne Whitmore Global Management Center, but participants especially appreciated the opportunity to apply their language skills to a business setting.

"With many companies becoming more and more global, I'm sure my language skills will give me a competitive advantage for job opportunities," says Nicolas Perfetti, a junior majoring in public policy analysis and economics who was part of Indiana University's winning team.
Perfetti's teammate Alan Hearth, a senior majoring in finance and international business, agrees.

"I think language skills are great for expanding human communication," says Hearth. "Nothing builds trust and brings down barriers like showing that you've taken the time to learn another person's language."

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