Colombia Virtual Immersion Capstone 2022

featuring the University of illinois at urbana champaign

Campus b has a long-term relationship with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. One of the programs we run every year is with iMBA—one of the most important online MBA programs in the world, with over 5,000 students enrolled.

At campus b, we always work to deliver the best experience to our students and to our university partners. The only thing more gratifying than supporting a successful project is having the opportunity to repeat it and make it even better. We ran iMBA’s first study abroad program in Brazil in 2018, and then proceeded to run this program once again in 2019. In 2020, we co-created their first online international capstone project with one of the largest retail companies in Brazil. We keep this momentum going through 2021 and 2022, during which time we continued running this type of capstone project in Colombia.

When life gave us lemons (Covid 19), we made lemonade! After over a decade-long partnership, we knew Campus b was the right partner to quickly launch our virtual MBA global immersion capstone. Over the course of two weeks our highly interactive and immersive course introduced students to the sights, sounds, people and business culture of Colombia. We collaborated with Colombian speakers, professors, students, panelists, and clients. And, we even enjoyed an evening cooking arepas simultaneously in our own kitchens across the world while a chef from Cartagena guided us on Zoom. The cornerstone of our course was an intense case competition (gracias, Bancolombia!) – Gies College of Business and Colombian students loved working on a real business challenge in real time. Thank you, Campus b, for partnering with us to make our vision a reality.

Gail Wheeler

Associate Director, Magelli Office of Experiential Learning at the UIUC Gies College of Business


We were able to feel this sense of fulfillment firsthand this past year after finishing up the second edition of the iMBA Capstone - Colombia Virtual Immersion.

Under the command of the Director Gail Wheeler, we brought together a team built for success, made up not only of representatives from the University of Illinois and campus b, but also a Colombian professor—Dr. Alexander Zuñiga Collazos—from the University San Buenaventura, Cali.


From 2021 to this year, we were able to pull the lessons learned from the first iteration of the program and apply them to make this second one an even more enriching experience for students.

 Unlike the 2021 version, we decided to make the 2022 program more diverse, opening up registration for universities all over Colombia. Based on other takeaways we gained from the 2021 program, we made a strategy to improve several other key aspects of this new one. 

Twelve teams spent 2 weeks working on a real case competition hosted by the largest bank in Colombia: Bancolombia

Twenty four students from 7 different Colombian universities joined the program, committing their time, energy, and knowledge to deliver the best ideas for the case competition alongside students from UIUC’s Gies College of Business. This short period of time demanded adaptability, teamwork, and project management skills. Teams had three different opportunities to interact with and hear from company representatives before delivering their final presentations. 

"Working with the University of Illinois was a learning experience that generated a lot of value for us, offering different perspectives on an organizational challenge that we had set. We appreciate the professionalism and discipline of their students to dedicate time and energy to the challenge proposed by Bancolombia."

Luis Miguel Zapata

Vice President, Digital Ecosystems at Bancolombia

The Outcomes

In the end, we are really happy with our outcomes. We see the impact that working in multicultural teams has had on the students, how the participation of Colombian students was, at many points, crucial to help link the business ideas being studied and the cultural realities in which these ideas are situated, and that many students who might not have been able to travel in-person otherwise felt that this was indeed an international experience. 

We appreciate the confidence once again placed in us by our partners at the University of Illinois and all the Colombian universities for spreading the word throughout their campus and inviting their students to join us.

We also thank Bancolombia for accepting our invitation and providing a real case for the students to work on, in hopes that it will generate positive findings for their progress in the Colombian market. 

"As an international professor invited to the "Colombia Global Capstone Immersion of iMBA_590", I would like to emphasize that it was not only an excellent academic experience, but also that being able to interact in real time with one of the largest companies in my country, and its future challenges, allowed to generate an exceptional dynamic between the company, us as academics and consultants, and the participating students (from different parts of the world), obtaining as a result: a high range of possible ideas and strategies with real opportunities for development in the business world."

Prof. Alexander Collazos

Director Doctorate Business Administration - Universidad de San Buenaventura Cali

Our passion in the academic field has given us the privilege of actively collaborating with more than 80 universities, offering professional and extracurricular experience journeys directly impacting more than 4000 students.

Written by:

Pamela Camarano

Campus b Team

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