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Q&A with Arminda Kamphausen: Reviewing the 2021 UConn International Business Case Challenge

Today we introduce you to Arminda Kamphausen, Associate Director of Global Business Programs at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) School of Business. Arminda is an advisor for the UCONN International Business Case Challenge (IBCC), an annual competition that brings teams of undergrads from around the world to compete virtually by solving real-life business issues. This year, The Asia Institute served as a host partner for the competition, which included twenty-six students from six universities in Australia, Ireland, Italy, Germany and the United States. To read a summary of the 2021 IBCC, click here.

Can you tell us a bit about the history of the competition and its global design?

The UConn International Business Case Challenge (IBCC) started under what was the UConn CIBER (Center for International Business Education and Research) and has continued under our Global Business Programs Office in the School of Business. The structure of the competition has always mixed international school teams in order to provide a truly global experience to the event as well as an international business problem to address.

How do students benefit from participation in the competition?

Students benefit through the opportunity to know and work with fellow students from other cultures and countries, as well as have the challenge of solving a demanding IB problem in an intense concentrated period of time. Over the past two years of offering the program virtually, students have learned to collaborate and plan across time zones, a truly critical skill for those moving in to the global marketplace.

Nengah Dana (left) and Komang Mandi(right), employees from the Rinjani Mountain Coffee growers, harvesting coffee beans. UConn’s International Business Case Competition was focused on providing solutions to the business challenges of several international companies. (Contributed Photo)

Why did you select The Asia Institute to work with for this year’s competition?

Over the history of the UConn IB Case Challenge, we have always looked to provide a project for students related to sustainability as well as in a different part of the world each time. Having learned about some of the projects Asia Institute was deploying for students’ virtual internships, I thought something similar might easily be adapted to our competition structure.

Why are projects incorporating UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) important for students to learn about?

This generation of students is not only interested in making a difference in the world, they demand that drastic changes be made and are eager to be the catalysts to ensure that change happens. We as educators must come alongside to help them access the knowledge and skills they need to do just that. Introducing students to the SDGs, supporting them as they deepen their understanding of the issues facing our world, and connecting them to students across the world who are equally committed to these goals should be a top priority for all institutions of higher learning, but especially for business schools. Without the cooperation of the corporate world, we will not reach the goals set by the UN. Developing business leaders who not only understand the critical importance of these goals but are committed to growth, inclusion, and sustainability must be our main focus.