In the spring semester, the students of the International Business study programme at Vilnius University Business School were involved in the Virtual Business Professional project as part of the Intercultural Communication and Management course delivered in English. Students from all over the world took part in this project and performed in virtual teams.
They examined the corporate reputation of Google, Amazon and Starbucks in the digital space and provided the companies with recommendations on how to improve their communication on social media. As many as five out of the nine leading teams of the project included the Business School’s students with one of the groups led by student M. Louie Khalili winning in the Google category.
The project involved more than 650 students from 14 top American, Canadian, Singaporean, Indian, Finnish, Spanish, French and German universities. The students were divided into intercultural teams of five to six people. A key requirement was that no group could have people from the same higher education institution. The final outcomes of each group were evaluated by at least three professors from the universities participating in the project. The works of the three best-ranked groups were sent to representatives of Google, Amazon and Starbucks, who ranked the top places.
“This tremendous accomplishment would never have been achieved if it wasn’t for the remarkable guidance of our Partnership Associate Professor Aiste Ptakauskaite. It was an absolute pleasure working in an international team with such different multi-lingual and multi-cultural backgrounds. Being the executive leader of the team, it was essential to maintain a perfect synergy to achieve this ordeal, especially that the team members were scattered across so many different time zones around the world. I am extremely proud of them!” M. Louie Khalili, student of VU Business School, said.
In the category of the teams who analysed the corporate reputation of Google in the digital space, the team led by M. Louie Khalili came in the first place, with student Ugnė Maldeikytė’s group ranking the second. In the Amazon category, the third place went to the team of which one of the members was Antanas Bernatonis, a student of VU Business School. In the Starbucks category, the second place went to student Domas Černiauskis’s group, and the third place - to student Sergey Yuriev’s team.
“We are very proud and excited about our students’ achievements as well as wholeheartedly grateful to the Partnership Associate Professor Aistė Ptakauskaitė for her initiative with regard to the participation in this international project. The students had a great opportunity to gain very interesting and useful experience working in intercultural virtual teams.” Dr. Birutė Miškinienė, Director of VU Business School, laid emphasis on the current goal of VU Business School – “to make sure that students are learning by doing and acquiring crucial competencies and practical skills”.