Villanova School of Business Takes First Place in International Business Competition

VILLANOVA, PA, 15 November 2007—The Villanova School of Business (VSB) congratulates VSB students Brian Cotroneo, Meet Doshi, Sarah Cognetti, and Victoria Kent. The foursome won the top prize in the second annual International Business University Competition hosted by Loyola Marymount University’s Hilton Business School in Los Angeles. Team VSB—all international business co-majors—was sponsored by VSB’s Center for Global Leadership.

The international case competition was sponsored by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce as part of World Trade Week and involved the development of a global market entry strategy for a specific company; in this instance, Dole Foods.

Business school teams including University of Southern California, Santa Clara, and University of South Carolina were presented with a real-world scenario faced by Dole Foods, Inc. and asked to look at various expansion options for the organization. The focus of the scenario was to investigate opportunities in Amazonian and exotic fruits with high nutritional value; also known as super fruits.

“While most groups researched and chose an exotic fruit to simply import to the U.S., our group took a different approach,” says Daniel Wright, Assistant Professor of Management and Operations and team faculty advisor.

Brian, Meet, Sarah, and Victoria cleverly launched a line of healthy smoothies in the U.S. and Europe. They proposed new facilities for smoothie production in Costa Rica that would receive fresh fruits from surrounding countries and developed a comprehensive business plan which addressed marketing, supply chain and distribution, import and trade restrictions, and financial implications for Dole Foods.

The innovative strategy earned VSB the top spot in the competition along with $8,000 of scholarship money to be applied to the students’ business education.

Jonathan Doh, faculty advisor for the VSB team and director of the Center for Global Leadership states, “The Villanova School of Business is strongly committed to globalization and internationalization. We want to provide opportunities for students to engage in global business issues in the classroom, through competitions such as this one, and by studying and working abroad.”

The Villanova School of Business has been at the forefront of business education since it was founded in 1922. Today, VSB is ranked the #12 business school in the nation by BusinessWeek, and serves over 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students in 7 business fields. The VSB study-abroad participation rate is nearly 50 percent among undergraduates, compared to a national average of 1 percent. The school offers an international business co-major, which enables students to deepen their foreign language and global business competencies and to study abroad. The new Center for Global Leadership at VSB is led by Jonathan Doh, the Herbert G. Rammrath Endowed Chair of International Business.

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