First hand information about a foreign market is often essential to a firm’s planning and operations. It is also frequently unaffordable or difficult to obtain without actually being on site, in the marketplace.
Students on exchanges, internships, or other academic programs overseas, or who are foreign nationals returning temporarily to their home countries, undertake on-site market investigations and research projects for Pacific Northwest firms, including:
- conducting primary research (on-site interviews, mail or telephone surveys)
- gathering information from data bases and publications not readily available in the U.S.
- evaluating competitors’ activities (pricing, advertising, distribution), as well as obtaining product samples.
Participating students are language qualified and have a good level of understanding of the country, its people, and their culture. They also often have valuable personal or professional contacts. In some situations they may work with counterparts at business schools in foreign countries with which Albers has developed cooperative relationships.
Companies are matched with students with the requisite skills, interests, and qualifications to perform effectively. Students are in regular contact with the client company and with a designated faculty supervisor, advising of interim progress and discoveries that may affect the project’s direction or outcome. Upon return to the U.S., the student provides a confidential written and oral report to the company sponsor.