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					                     Final Report

  DEVELOPING STUDENT CAPACITIES FOR INTERNATIONAL
    CAREERS THROUGH STUDY ABROAD & INTERNSHIPS




Business and International Education (BIE) Grant

           U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
        OFFICE OF POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION
        CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

                   Grant managed by



      Office of International Business Programs
                  College of Business
               Tennessee State University




                  Nashville, Tennessee
May 31, 2004




     2
II. Executive Summary

In June 2001 the Office of International Business Programs at Tennessee
State University was awarded a two-year grant under the U.S.
Department of Education’s Title VI Business and International Education
(BIE) Program. The BIE grant proposal was entitled “Developing Student
Capabilities for International Careers Through Study Abroad and
Internships.” It represented TSU’s second proposal submission to the
BIE Program, the first one having been judged to be too broad in scope.
This grant application focused exclusively on encouraging TSU students
to contemplate an international career through exposure to other
cultures and working with international firms. This grant coincided with
efforts by the Office of International Business Programs to promote a new
Minor in International Business.

For this grant the TSU College of Business entered into partnerships with
the business community through local agencies and organizations
involved in export promotion in Middle Tennessee. The Nashville Area
International Business Center houses three partners: the International
Business Council of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the
Nashville Export Assistance Center of the U.S. Department of Commerce,
and International Trade Center of the Tennessee Small Business
Development Center Network. They in turn helped to identify private
firms for internships. All three were active in hosting TSU students as
well.

Two types of activities were proposed under the BIE grant:

1) Study abroad - strengthening the existing undergraduate business as
well as the MBA program through opportunities to study and intern
abroad, including in those countries where TSU has institutional
partnerships.

2) Internships with international firms and associations – providing work
opportunities for TSU students in firms, agencies, and associations with
international operations in order to prepare them for careers in
international business.

When the official grant period ended, TSU requested and was granted a
six-month no-cost extension by the BIE Project Manager on June 18,
2003. A second six-month no-cost extension was granted on December 3,
2003. By July 2002, 19 students had already received stipends, and by
May 2004 a total of 32 BIE stipends had been granted to 23 TSU
students. These stipends, ranging from $687 to a maximum of $3000,




                                    3
allowed TSU students to study abroad, to engage in practical internships,
or to attend conferences with an international focus.

Our proposal projected that under Objective I: Study Abroad, a total of
13 TSU students would study in institutions overseas under the BIE
grant: four in the first year and nine in the second. By the end of the
grant ten TSU students had received BIE stipends for study abroad in six
different countries and territories, all but one (Virgin Islands) in a non-
English-speaking environment.

Under Objective II, although the budget projected only a total of eight
stipends for this activity, 12 students received stipends for internships
with seven different firms or agencies. However, the revised budget
request to BIE included an additional category of grant activities:
attendance at conferences (including the annual BIE conference). Under
this new category, we projected five stipends for the life of project. By the
end of the grant seven students had received stipends for attending
conferences.

It is important to note that the BIE grant proved to be a key factor in
enabling the Office of International Business Programs to promote the
Minor in International Business program of the College of Business.
Every one of the first eight students who completed the requirements for
this minor had been assisted by a BIE stipend. We are pleased to report
that this was a significant contribution to the successful review of the
College Business for re-affirmation of its AACSB accreditation in
November 2003.

III. PROJECT STATUS AT END OF GRANT

In this section we provide profiles of the types of activities funded under
the BIE grant.

Objective I: Study Abroad Program – To provide opportunities for
TSU Business students to travel abroad to study, to improve
language skills, and to gain familiarity with other business cultures.

Normandy, France. In the summer of 2001 Khadijah Allen became the
first BIE stipend recipient at TSU, studying in Normandy, France,
through a linkage with Middle Tennessee State University and
l’Universite de Caen. The following summer 2002, Renaldo Brown
participated in the Caen program which includes three weeks of intensive
immersion in the French language and seven weeks at an internship
placement. It was a transformational experience for both TSU students
who traveled to France. Khadijah went on to graduate school upon
graduation, while Renaldo has studied in Thailand and again in France.

                                      4
Virgin Islands. In May 2001, Sandrena Lee was the first TSU to
participate in the University of the Virgin Islands’ Summer Institute for
Future Global Leaders, and Naima Davis the second in May 2002. This
has been a rewarding and intensive two-week program during which
students attended lectures, seminars, and workshops, and went on field
study tours of government institutions, commercial centers, shipping
ports and historical sites.

Quebec, Canada. Nicolette Rougement participated in an intensive
French language program at the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi in
the summer of 2002. This is a five-week intensive program in which only
French is spoken. The student lived with a host family for a total
immersion experience. This was arranged through the Mid-Continent
Consortium of universities that works to build linkages in Canada and
Mexico. TSU is a member of the consortium. Nicolette went on for
further study in France and then Mexico.

Mazatlan, Mexico. In the summer of 2002 Kristen Whyly participated in
a summer internship program with the Universidad de Monterrey,
Mexico, Mazatlan Campus. This included private Spanish lessons,
cultural immersion by living with a host family, and an internship with a
local business.

Bangkok, Thailand. In the fall of 2002, TSU entered into a
Memorandum of Understanding with Siam University, a private
institution in Bangkok, Thailand. A representative of Siam visited the
TSU campus, made a presentation about his university, and interviewed
student who would be interested in studying there. In June 2003,
Renaldo Brown and Sokha Tok – both Business Information Systems
majors, traveled to Bangkok for a semester of study. BIE funds were
used to pay for them to have intensive Thai language instruction in
Nashville during the spring 2003 semester.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. TSU requested a no-cost extension to the BIE
grant in December 2003 in order to complete the paperwork for Ms.
Amani Murph, a first-year MBA student in the College of Business, to
travel to Brazil. She departed for Rio de Janeiro on May 17, 2004, for a
month-long program of study in the Portuguese language and samba
dancing at the Bridge-Linguatec Institute, headquartered in Denver,
Colorado.




                                    5
Objective II: Student Internships – To strengthen the existing
undergraduate business and MBA program through student
internships with private companies, associations, and international
trade agencies.

In order to place TSU students as interns with firms and agencies there
must be a careful vetting of the proposed internship to seek a fit between
the student and the firm. While several of the firms initially approached
eventually declined to host student interns, others came along as most
willing partners. They are described below. Each student is required to
write a report (sample are included in the appendix) on their experience
as an intern and to make a Power Point presentation at the end of the
semester.

Nashville Area International Business Center. In the summer 2001,
fall 2002 and spring 2002 semesters, three TSU students completed
internships with The Nashville Area International Business Center. The
Center is comprised of three entities: International Business Council of
the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Export Assistance
Center of the US Department of Commerce, and International Trade
Center of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center.
Edwin Bridgeforth and Jovon Bell had job responsibilities that included:

            Promoting trade related events with emphasis on rural
             recruitment
            Maintaining databases in Client Management System
            Providing market research on international business
             opportunities
            Matching Middle Tennessee Companies with the Trade
             Opportunity Program
            Participating in trade seminars
            Up-dating the Chamber’s International Source Book

Nompumelelo Dlamini researched market opportunities for U.S.
businesses in Africa, with particular attention to the Sub-Saharan
region. She established direct personal relationships with commercial
representatives in that region in order to match potential U.S. exporters
with African importers. The Africa Team is one of several national and
international teams of the International Trade Administration and is
composed of domestic trade specialists and foreign service nationals.

Qualcast LLC. Summer 2001 – Spencer Rollins, a second-year MBA
student, was placed in an internship with QualCast, LLC, a Nashville
firm that distributes engine parts in the U.S. and overseas. He was
involved with placing the 600-page product catalog on the Internet with


                                    6
search ability. This produced easy access to overseas potential
customers. Additionally, the he analyzed actual domestic and offshore
costs to determine where savings could be made and how it would
impact pricing and competitiveness. Customers were analyzed by type to
identify the most profitable customer category. Qualcast greatly
appreciated Spencer’s efforts since he saved it thousands of dollars.

Consolidated Inventory Supply, Inc. (CiS) Spring 2002 – Kamelia
Shahid completed an internship with Consolidated Inventory Supply, Inc.
(CiS), located in the Nashville Business Incubation Center. CiS out-
sources heavy metal machinery parts to 33 countries. Ms. Shahid’s
internship consisted of creating three databases for international
prospects and preparation of an office sourcebook regarding
international airfreight carriers and currency exchanges.

Industrial Tape Specialists, LLC. Krystal Stitts served as an intern in
this firm that markets adhesive tape products. Based in Nashville, the
company also has sales offices in Japan and India and markets its
products throughout the Middle East, Europe, Asia, North America and
South America. The mission of the company is to provide the highest
quality tape products at the most economical price. The president of
Industrial Tape served as chairman of the International Business
Council.

Nashville Metropolitan Refugee Services. In the summer of 2002
Victoria Coleman completed an internship with the Nashville
Metropolitan Refugee Services. This internship exposed the student to
refugees from all over the world and the particular issues they face, both
in the US as refugees and from their countries of origin. In the fall
semester of 2002, Naima Davis also completed an internship with
Refugee Services and then helped to organize a Windows onto the World
panel presentation featuring the agency in the spring of 2003 on the TSU
Campus.

The Washington Center Summer Internship Program. In the summer
of 2002, Ryan Harding participated in the Washington Center Summer
Internship Program. He was selected from a pool of nationwide
applicants for an internship in the Washington, DC, area. Ryan lived in
DC and worked as an intern at Smith Barney. He also registered for an
academic seminar offered through The Washington Center.

Carter Center in Atlanta. Malik Badjie was selected for an internship
with the Carter Center in Atlanta in the summer of 2002. This
internship is highly competitive, and it was an honor for Malick to have
been selected. He was assigned to work on political issues pertaining to
a Caribbean country and was able to travel there during the summer.


                                    7
Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA). The first request for
a no-cost extension to the TSU BIE grant was occasioned by the
opportunity which two College of Business students had to work as
interns on a survey conducted for the MNAA. Under the direction of a
consultant to the MNAA, in the summer of 2003 Kristen Whyly and
Malick Badjie helped search a Harris database of Middle Tennessee firms
engaged in importing and exporting to determine the extent of their
needs for the airport’s cargo facilities. The two students had use of
College of Business office space and computers.

World Trade Council of Middle Tennessee. Two members of the
College of Business faculty serve as members of the Board of the Council.
The Board asked TSU to provide student assistance in revising and
updating its membership database. This developed into an internship for
an MBA student which was greatly appreciated by the Council.

International/Multicultural Conferences/Reports

NAFSA Annual Conference. Edwin Bridgeforth, Rory Douglas, and
LaToya Varner accompanied the Assistant Director of OIBP in attending
the Annual Conference of NAFSA – International Educators - held in
Philadelphia in the summer of 2001. The following year Sokha Tok
attended the conference in San Antonio in May 2002. These conferences
exposed the students to the field of international education, with
representatives from organizations and universities around the globe.

Business and International Education Annual Meeting. Zied Guizani,
a second-year MBA student, attended the BIE conference in Tampa,
Florida, in the fall of 2001, and subsequently submitted a report to OIBP
on the conference.

National Multicultural Institute Conference. Jackie Ojuka-Onedo, a
first-year MBA student, attended the 17th annual conference of the
National Multicultural Institute in Washington, D.C., in the spring of
2002. The theme of the conference was “Thinking Globally: Broadening
the Context of Multicultural Dialogue and Action.”

Research Paper on Opportunities and Suggestions for continuation
of BIE Grant. Ms. Gayle Rutledge assisted the Office of International
Business Programs in the summer of 2002 in reviewing its BIE grant
activities with a view toward preparing a proposal for a second grant. Her
paper included recommendations for additional activities, some of which
were incorporated into the TSU BIE proposal.




                                    8
IV. BUDGET INFORMATION

The total budget for the original two-year performance period from July
1, 2002 to July 1, 2003 was $73,960. The first budget period was for
$29,800 and the second for $44,160. Several of the stipends were
awarded at the end of the first year, such that they were applied to the
second year budget. Thus in April 2002, TSU reported having expended a
total of $17,754.62, with an additional $19,075.60 encumbered against
the second year. By November 30, 2003, at the end of the first no-cost
extension, a total of $71,161.36 had been expended (including the last
stipend for which paperwork was still being processed). Added to this
were indirect costs of $2,207.00, bringing the total to $73,368.36 as of
the writing of this final report. This figure is just shy of the amount
allocated to TSU under the BIE grant.

TSU and its corporate partners pledged matching contributions
amounting to $90,050 for two years. The TSU contribution was $49,234,
whereas that of the partners was $40,816. The TSU cost-share consisted
primarily of the project director and assistant director’s time, office space
and equipment. Partner cost share was comprised of staff time of the
Chamber of Commerce and Export Assistance as well as their office
facilities used by interns. The anticipated partner contribution fell
$12,000 short, however, because firms did not offer paying internships. l

V. SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION

Throughout the grant period, the basic objectives remained the same: to
develop student capacities for international careers through study
abroad and internships. The focus remained on these objectives during
the life of the grant. There were, of course, unintended consequences of
project activities. In our original proposal we anticipated several more
internships with private firms engaged in international business, Dell
Computer in particular. But Dell did not come through, nor did
Weberize. And it must be said that identifying firms that are really
interested in hosting interns is difficult, even when they are not asked to
pay them. However, we were pleased that other firms and agencies did
step forward to host interns.

Several of the institutional linkage partnership placements identified in
the proposal did not materialize (e.g., Ukraine, Malawi, and South
Africa). On the other hand, some partnerships did emerge that were not
anticipated (e.g., Thailand, France, Virgin Islands). No students were
placed through the International Student Exchange Program. Although
we did not identify the World Trade Council of Middle Tennessee as a
partner, one student assisted the Council in revising and updating its
membership database.


                                      9
          Sample Internship and Study Abroad Reports

                                   Kristal Stitts
                            Industrial Tape Specialists
                      700 Inverness Avenue Suite 201
                            Nashville, TN 37204
                                  615-292-7703
                                john@itstape.com

                                John Hooton, President

I. Executive Summary

Industrial Tape Specialists, LLC is a comprehensive resource for adhesive tape products.
Industrial Tape is able to handle all tape demands effortlessly. Based in Nashville,
Tennessee, the company also has sales offices in Yokohama City, Japan and Bombay,
India. The company serves all most every corner of the globe including the Middle East,
Europe, Asia, North America and South America. The sole mission of the company is to
provide the highest quality tape products at the most economical price, while providing
you with the attention and service you deserve. We are in the business of solving
problems, providing solutions, and sharing knowledge to help you gain that competitive
edge. Mr. Hooton discusses his strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. Mr.
Hooton also discusses his marketing and competitive strategies for his company. The
duties that Mr. Hooton delegated to me were to install company e-mail accounts for the
overseas offices. I also setup a messaging service in order to communicate with oversees
contacts more economically.

My accomplishments are securing a position with Industrial Tape Specialists in the spring
semester. The new knowledge that I acquired while working at both the US Department
of Commerce and Industrial Tape Specialists was how to research using many databases
on the Internet such as Stat-USA.gov, and the commercial service’s intranet. The
problems that I encountered while at both locations were lack of knowledge available.
This experience influences my career in knowing that there are all types of avenues to
travel in international business. What color is your parachute? by Richard Bolles is an
excellent book. This annually published book discusses the pitfalls and suggestions for
enthusiastic job hunters. This book should be with every college graduate who is seeking
a rewarding career in any field.

II. Background of Host Operation

John Hooton started the company in 2000. Previously working for his father at Can-Do
Tape, he successfully implemented an exporting department within the company.
Industrial Tape Specialists, LLC is a comprehensive resource for adhesive tape products.
Industrial Tape is able to handle all tape demands effortlessly. Based in Nashville,
Tennessee, the company also has sales offices in Yokohama City, Japan and Bombay,


                                           10
India. Beginning as a small regional operation, Industrial Tape Specialists has grown into
a global contender. The company serves all most every corner of the globe including the
Middle East, Europe, Asia, North America and South America. The company
concentrates on tape and tape related products. Industrial Tape networks with
distributors and Original Equipment Manufacturer. The sole mission of the company is to
provide the highest quality tape products at the most economical price, while providing
you with the attention and service you deserve. We are in the business of solving
problems, providing solutions, and sharing knowledge to help you gain that competitive
edge.

III. Business Operation

       a. SWOT Analysis
            1. Strengths- Mr. Hooton believes that his ability to work with all people
               is his greatest strength. His tolerance and willingness to learn about
               other cultures gives him an edge above competitors. Also his excellent
               customer service, low overhead, product and vendor knowledge
               strengthens his organization.
            2. Weakness-Lack of capital weakens the company. He also has no
               inventory, and no staff only sales associates in India, and Japan.
            3. Opportunities-The business’ opportunity is to increase market share,
               expand overseas sales office open manufacturing factory in China.
            4. Threats- The only threat that Mr. Hooton recognizes is increased
               competition from other companies.

        b. Organizational Structure



                                           John Hooton
                                            President

                             John Kanai                   Anand Dhuri
                             Sales Japan                  Sales India


       c. Marketing Strategy

               The Marketing Strategy for Industrial Tape Specialists is a mixed
               advertising approach. Incorporating traditional media such as mailings and
               Internet, Mr. Hooton has found a device of reaching all consumers. He
               also implements and strives on superior customer service. He is also has in
               progress a system to maximize potential sales with existing customers
               through follow up calls and mailings.




                                           11
       d. Competitive Strategy
             The competitive strategy that Mr. Hooton uses is he has no inventory and
             therefore his overhead is low.

IV. Responsibilities of a Student Intern
       a. Duties
              The duties that Mr. Hooton delegated to me were to install company e-
              mail accounts for the overseas offices. I also setup a messaging service in
              order to communicate with oversees contacts more economically. I also
              managed the paper flow of the company. On the days I did not go to work
              with Mr. Hooton I went to the US Department of Commerce and
              researched trade leads for Industrial Tape Specialists. My intern divides
              into two parts. At the beginning of my intern in August, I worked solely at
              the US Department of Commerce. I researched products for the trade
              specialists. I researched target markets that wanted to export various
              products from wood burning stoves, to golf carts. Through this, I met John
              Hooton and worked with him.
       b. Accomplishments
           My accomplishments are securing a position with Industrial Tape Specialists
           in the spring semester. I also set up new e-mail accounts and brainstorming
           with Mr. Hooton on future projects that we will implement in the spring
           semester. I also demonstrated a more efficient method of sorting his e-mails.
           He can now separate his prospective clients, trade leads, and current clients
           e-mail.
       c. New Knowledge Acquired
           The new knowledge that I acquired while working at both the US
           Department of Commerce and Industrial Tape Specialists was how to
           research using many databases on the Internet such as Stat-USA.gov, and the
           commercial service’s intranet. Mr. Hooton also explained the tape business
           to me. He took me on a journey on how to produce masking tape. He started
           from a simple sheet of crepe paper ending with a roll of masking tape. I also
           learned how to send samples to potential customers. We ship samples
           domestically and internationally. I also learned that tape is in many products
           that we would never think it was such as televisions and airplanes. I also
           learned what regions of the world import the most tape and what types. For
           example, China imports hundreds of rolls of masking tape each year.
       d. Problems Encountered
           The problems that I encountered while at both locations were lack of
           knowledge available. I was assigned research projects and there would not be
           any information available. For example, I could not find the amount of
           cosmetics imported in Saudi Arabia annually. In addition, the trade leads that
           I would find for importers in need of adhesive tape were out of date. The
           most current leads were from 2000. They were of no use to Mr. Hooton.
       e. How Experience Impacts your Career
           This experience influences my career in knowing that there are all types of
           avenues to travel in international business. Not only can I be an exporter, I



                                           12
            can be in freight, distribute, or consult. This experience has allowed me to
            meet people in the exporting industry. It also has given me knowledge of
            resources like the Small Business Center, and the Nashville Area Chamber of
            Commerce.

V. Summary of Textbook

What Color is Your Parachute? By Richard Bolles

This is an excellent book. This annually published book discusses the pitfalls and
suggestions for enthusiastic job hunters. It is not just a how-to book, but also a guide to
successfully finding a career that you will enjoy. It is not just a book for the unemployed
but also for those seeking a career change. The manual includes statistics on which
methods of finding a job are more successful than other methods. It also includes satire
through comics and drawings. The author includes fact cards in between the reading to
give useful tidbits for those simply skimming the book. The guide also tells the job hunter
to be patient. Bolles says that the average job hunt can be from eight to twenty-three
weeks. Bolles includes which areas of job seeking to invest the most time in and which
areas to avoid such as answering ads in the newspaper and randomly sending out your
résumé. He gives the reader tips on how to choose or change your career. He forces the
reader to take an internal view of their strengths and weaknesses. In addition, he tells the
job hunter how to prepare and conduct oneself in an interview. He gives guidelines on
how to survive financially while starting a business or looking for a new career. This
book should be with every college graduate who is seeking a rewarding career in any
field.




                                            13
          INTERNSHIP WITH

CONSOLIDATED INVENTORY SUPPLY (CiS)




             Prepared for
   Dr. Festus Olorunniwo, Chairman
 Department of Business Administration




                  By
           Kamelia L. Shahid




             April 24, 2002




                  14
Executive Summary

This report provides background information on Consolidated Inventory Supply
Inc. (CiS) and also summarizes the experience of this company’s first intern.

Consolidated Inventory Supply Inc.

Consolidated Inventory Supply Inc. is a wholesaler of parts for heavy equipment.
The company specializes in new (unused) genuine parts for Caterpillar®
equipment. CiS has an inventory of more than 24,000 different line items in a
warehouse of 20,000 square feet. Parts are ready for immediate delivery. Same-
day worldwide shipping is offered as well. Hundreds of items are added to
inventory every week. As a general rule, prices are between 30% to 60% of
dealer’s list prices for each item on the shelf

Business Operation

The strengths and opportunities of CiS by far outweigh the weaknesses and
threats. Strengths and opportunities such as a bilingual staff, strong leadership
and potential in market growth are causing CiS to sky-rocket to the top of its field.
Simplicity is what works best for this company. A simple organizational structure,
marketing strategy, and competitive strategy keep the company ahead of its
competitors.

Intern Responsibilities

CiS provided its student intern with hands on training. Major responsibility was
given in the form of major and mini projects. The Intern was able to learn more
about International business as well as character and integrity through the
internship.

Interning with Consolidated Inventory Supply Inc.

COMPANY BACKGROUND

  Consolidated Inventory Supply Inc. is what many would consider a quickly
  developing business. It is definitely beyond fledgling status but has not
  reached Fortune 500 status either. CiS Inc. has been in existence for less than
  ten years, but has experienced the growth companies that have been in
  existence for thirty years. This company is definitely unique in the Nashville
  business community.

  CiS is a wholesaler of parts for Caterpillar Equipment. In simpler terms, CiS
  out sources parts and components for heavy machinery such as cranes,
  trucks, and forklifts. CiS has current and prospective customers in over 30
  countries. Some of the countries include Italy, Spain, Hong Kong, the


                                         15
Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and
Austria, and Australia.

Business Operation - SWOT Analysis

Consolidated Inventory Supply Inc. has several strengths. The company has
established a solid reputation with its customer. As a result, new customers
are gained in the form of client referrals. Another strength is the strong
leadership displayed by the owner/supervisor of the company. Mr. Paul
Bonovich, owner and supervisor of CiS Inc., adds to the character and
knowledge of his employees through practical leadership. He first lays out the
company goals and then encourages each employee to set and meet personal
performance goals. This creates a sense of responsibility and pride in each
employee. Mr. Bonovich also takes his employees on trips with him to other
countries so that customer/ client interaction is not limited to telephone calls.
This allows the employees to learn the specific needs of each customer
intimately. Through his exemplary leadership, Paul Bonovich has gained
employee loyalty. Each of his employees is committed to the vision and the
well being of CiS Inc. Each employee is multilingual. This creates business
opportunities in parts of the world that many are unable to tap into.

Some noticeable weaknesses of the company are the need for additional
employees and space, limited hours of operation and cultural barriers. The
accounting department currently consists of one part time employee. If ever
this employee has an emergency or becomes ill, the responsibility of keeping
the company’s books ultimately rests on Mr. Bonovich. Seeing that he travels
quite frequently, this creates a problem if Mr. Bonovich is overseas. Space is
also limited in the CiS Inc. office. There is currently only enough room for five
people in the office. However, the office will soon be relocating from
Nashville’s business incubation center to a more accommodating location.
CiS Inc. has customers in more than four time zones worldwide. With this in
mind, employees must come into the office late at night or early in the morning
to contact customers in different parts of the world. The final noticeable
weakness of this company is cultural barriers.

Usually when calls are made to customers, a closing remark of “have a cold
beer for me” is made. This works for the most part. However, this comment
was made to a customer in the Middle East, and it was not taken well. The
employee worsened the situation by advising the customer to “kiss a pretty
girl” instead. The response of the customer was still the same. The
conversation finally came to a close with “have a nice day”. Because each
culture is different, slang and clichés should not be used. It is important that
proper respect be showed to all customers at all times.

Many opportunities exist for the company to expand. CiS has recently mailed
over 500 marketing CD to prospective customers. The CD explains the



                                      16
company’s purpose, mission, and vision. Once the office relocates the
company should have the capacity to house additional employees. An
addition of employees will increase the productivity rate of the company. In
years to come CiS there will be a need for another office in the United States
and/or another country.

CiS Inc. is faced with a few threats. One of the most threatening is the
financial status of the company when customers are delinquent in payment.
The company is prepared to deal with delinquent accounts. However it
becomes a problem when accounts are thousands of dollars outstanding. In
most cases, competition poses a threat. However, because CiS Inc. has
established customer loyalty, this issue does not weigh as heavily upon the
company as it would other companies in the industry.

Organizational Structure

The organizational structure is very simple. Paul Bonovich represents the
executive branch of the organization (founder/President). Son Cho and Leo
are the sales managers, and Karen is the head accountant.

Marketing Strategy

CiS’s marketing strategy is quite unique. Mini compact discs were produced
for the sole purpose of marketing. These discs are either mailed or hand
delivered to potential customers. They fit into the CD ROM and thus speak for
themselves. This tool is also great for foreign trade shows in which language
could serve as a barrier. The company’s Internet website also serves as a
marketing tool.

Competitive Strategy

Mr. Bonovich has constructed a very practical competitive strategy that keeps
the company ahead of its competition. The strategy entails immediate
response to customer inquiries, questions and needs. CiS prides itself in
providing quotes and answers to questions within minutes, sometime seconds,
of receiving the inquiries. This simple practice of immediate response is very
impressive and keeps current customers satisfied. It even attracts new
customers.

Responsibilities as a Student Intern

As an intern I was given several responsibilities. These responsibilities were
presented to me in a series of projects. My first project was to create a
shipping freight sourcebook for internal use only. First, I had to determine
which countries CiS Inc. ships parts to. I composed a list of approximately
twenty countries. Another fifteen countries were added to the list to represent



                                     17
  the countries of prospective customers. I then researched the ground and
  airfreight charges from Nashville, TN to of these each countries. The freight
  companies that I had to research were FedEx, DHL World Freight, UPS,
  Panalpina, and BAX.

  The sourcebook contains approximately 35 pages. Each page contains a
  chart that appears as follows:

                                                      Country X
                     Weight                FedEx                 DHL               UPS
                     in lbs
                     5 lbs                    $___               $___             $___
                     15 lbs                   $___               $___             $___
                     25 lbs                   $___               $___             $___
                     55 lbs                   $___               $___             $___
                     75 lbs                   $___               $___             $___
                     150 lbs                  $___               $___             $___

                                                                       BAX       Panalpina
                     Minimum                                            $__            $__
                     < 40 kilos                                         $__            $__
                     > 150kilos                                         $__            $__
                     < 150 kilos                                        $__            $__
  * Please note that original charts for CiS contain different weights in lbs.


  Originally the chart only included price calculations from DHL World Freight,
  BAX, and Panalpina. Upon reconsidering, Mr. Bonovich thought it would be
  best if all shipping prices were included from each freight carrier. He wanted
  the flexibility to offer each customer the absolute lowest freight price possible.

  It took the entire duration of my internship to create this sourcebook. In
  creating the sourcebook I ran into several problems. The first was an error in
  calculating the markup price. My supervisor told me to mark each shipping
  price up “10 points”. After miscalculating the entire sourcebook I soon came to
  know that “10 points” and ten percent were not equal. 1.10 represents a ten-
  point mark up while 0.10 represents a ten percent mark up. My original
  thought was “why should we even mark the price up when the company only
  makes a profit of a couple of pennies?” This was my first lesson in asking
  questions and stating the facts.

My second major project was to create a series of databases. Shortly after I
began interning with CiS Inc. Mr. Bonovich and another co-worker attended a
trade show in Italy. At this trade show, hundreds of vendors and potential
customers gathered to find out the latest information on heavy metal parts. While
there, Mr. Bonovich came in contact with approximately one-hundred potential


                                                            18
customers. When he and my co-worker returned to Nashville, I was given all of
this data in raw form. My responsibility was to create a database dividing these
names, addresses, and contact people into three categories: current customers,
potential customers, and inactive customers. This was a pretty simple task, so I
thought. Of all of the projects I was given, this was the most difficult. The
difficulty I faced was in interpreting the data on each business card. In the United
States a mailing address appears as such:

              Mr. X. Person
              1234 Street Lane
              School City, ST 11011

My assumption was that addresses all around the world appear exactly the
same. However, this was not the case. Most of the addresses appeared in a
form similar to the example below:

               Mr. X. Person

               Nagy 21 Roundhill, H-0411

               Szeged Rte 5

I had absolutely no idea what any of this meant. I soon learned that H-0411 is
the zip code, and the H represents the country code of Hungary. I also learned
that nagy means street. In most international countries, the zip code is found
between the city and the country names. As I became more familiar with
distinguishing between city names, street names, and zip codes, I utilized the
Internet to find any information I was not sure about.

My troubles did not end with interpreting the information. Shortly after I became
familiar with identifying the information, the entire system crashed, and I lost a
week’s worth of information. It took a week and a half to rebuild the system, and
I had to start from the beginning. This was definitely the most challenging
disheartening occurrence I encountered. Once I completed the database, I
printed mailing labels and prepared a mass shipment of mini CD’s and company
literature to prospective customers and inactive customers.

I also had mini projects to work on as well. My first mini project was to enter fax
numbers into the fax machine on speed dial. The project seemed like routine
office work when it was first given to me. However, my eyes were opened up to
a whole new world of country codes, city codes, and things of that nature. Just
by looking at the spacing and grouping of these numbers, I soon came to realize
that each country represents a world of its own. Other mini projects that I was
required to do were filing, preparing quotes for customers, and data entry.




                                        19
Conclusion

Overall my experience interning with Consolidated Inventory Supply Inc. has
been very rewarding. The knowledge and experience I gained was priceless.
The actual job in itself taught me a lot about different countries and how
businesses are operated over seas. However, the breadth of knowledge I
attained was the direct result from listening to Mr. Bonovich, asking him for
advice about business matters, and just observing him. I am what many people
would consider a leader. Working with Mr. Bonovich, one of the nation’s most
capable leaders, taught me not only about business, but about character and
integrity as well. Mr. Bonovich has gained the loyalty and respect of his
customers and employees by leading by example. In addition to ethical business
practices, CiS Inc. has reached high levels of success because of Mr. Bonovich’s
commitment to customer satisfaction. Mr. Bonovich’s heart is to see each of his
employees reach their full potential as leaders in the international business
realm.




                                       20
Note to the reader: Renaldo Brown is a Business Information Systems
Major in the College of Business at TSU. He has been at Siam University in
Bangkok on a semester study abroad program on a BIE stipend from the
Office of International Business Programs since June 2003. We are pleased
to share his impressions of his Thai experience with the TSU community.


                  BANGKOK UPDATE
                            by Renaldo Brown

                       Volume I - June 28, 2003



Hello, Bonjour, Buenos Dias, and Sawadee Krap,

I hope that all is well at your home. I am doing well. Having a good
time while just beginning classes.

I have met many new friends and no new enemies even though I am the
only black, first black, and first American male on this mainly Thai
campus of 15,000. There are many people who speak English in my
program, as they should since the classes are taught in English. Some
are from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Pakistan, and Australia,
to name a few.

There are many African blacks in the city, but I have yet to find their
corner of this fantastic world. Thus, my hair has grown to unacceptable
lengths; it feels like wearing a wool cap in Miami!

The food is good, but like France, overrated. I did get a slight case of the
runs, but I got my groove back. I have thus far been able to avoid the
really spicy stuff.

There is no SARS in Thailand. But you might get run over by a
motorcycle if you don't watch where you're going! Speed limits are
virtually nonexistent and what are those white lines they paint on the
street used for anyway?

                                     21
My accommodations are superb. It's like an extended-stay hotel with
kitchenette and life-giving air conditioner. Luckily, the rainy season is
upon us. It's so cool after a brief, but hard, rainshower. Unless, that is,
if it rains during midday. If that is the case, you might as well go to the
steam room at your local YMCA. It might be cooler inside there.

I have been able to work some French into my experience. From time to
time I meet francophones and we carry on a conversation. I get by with
my limited Thai, but mostly get laughed at because of my
mispronunciation of almost every word!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll have to do a lot of
writing to show what, for example, my website from my sojourn in
France last year did. Thailand is not a poor country, but it is still a
developing one. High speed internet access does not exist as we know
it. Therefore, it would be overwhelming to upload pictures to a website
with a dial-up connection. At the university, they have a computer
room with over 200 computers (using XP Professional and everything),
but share a few 56K connections to the lab. Besides that, the lab is only
open for limited hours (taking into account my class schedule) and
limits each student's usage time per semester. And to top it off, you
cannot download your own software to the computers anyway -- which
is what I would need to do in order to get the pictures off of the
camera. Which brings me to my second problem: I don't have a
camera!!! The one I used last year was borrowed. I thought that they
would be cheaper over here because of the exchange rate, but certain
goods, like electronics, are priced accordingly. The best way to contact
me is by e-mail. I do not have a website at this time. Well, my fingers
are getting weary. I hope this whets your appetite for future editions of
BANGKOK UPDATE.

Yours truly,
Renaldo Brown
Editor-In-Chief




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