This one, however, was unique. Students from Purdue had the support from Brazilian students to crack the case and develop the best solution, combining their knowledge from different fields of study and the multicultural aspect. Americanas S.A, one of the largest Brazilian retailers and e-commerce platforms, was the host from this case. Divided in five different groups of Purdue and Brazilian students, for 2 weeks they participated in classes, cultural activities, company talks and interactions with Americanas’ representatives that provided the grounds for the main project development.
” The experience of working with Purdue and Brazilian students in a case competition was very enriching for us! We were able to grasp an external look at the company and the employer brand actions we carried out, clarifying our strengths and our points of improvement. Students also brought in a benchmarking with several actions and companies that will help us to have a more innovative and assertive strategy, in addition to a self-analysis of what is already in place and the possibilities applicable in the domestic market.”
To make sure the groups would engage successfully and be able to feel comfortable with each other, developing multicultural communication skills was key. In every session students would engage in warm ups, ice breaking or a cultural activity constructed to build teamwork, but also to support adaptability. The multiculturality aspect is one of the main tools to make the students feel that they are living a true cultural exchange experience and learning through collaboration and teamwork.
International Project-based Learning
During the program, the following concept and practices were explored:
While learning more about Employer Branding, students had to deep dive into Brazilian Job Market trends, cultural context, the Company’s Values and its business model; By using their skills in research, benchmarking and academic knowledge, each group had to exercise their critical thinking to validate and adapt their ideas to a specific cultural context, as well as to the company’s current reality.
Students had contact with professionals on the front lines of developing the company’s new policies and strategies, while at the same time having to adapt to a unique context, in terms of culture, business model, company’s values and more. Getting out of the comfort zone and reporting to a real host company was a key part of the working process.
ProjectX had participants from several regions of the US, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Canada. During many cultural activities, warm ups and ice-breakers, groups were encouraged to connect through empathy, respect, curiosity and openness. Learning from different perspectives allowed each participant to experience first hand the many ways in which diversity, respect and collaboration are key to reach great solutions.
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