Cross Border Consulting Program Gives Students Real-World International Business Experience

March 20, 2024

The Cross Border Consulting (CBC) program at San Diego State University’s Fowler College of Business offers MBA and graduate students the opportunity to consult with companies engaged in cross-border trade with Mexico. Developed as part of the Business Administration 795 (BA795) capstone project, the initiative not only provides students with real-world global learning opportunities but also delivers consulting services to businesses facing international commerce challenges. 

Operated out of Fowler’s Center for International Business Education and Research within the Wendy Gillespie Center for Advancing Global Business, business graduate students from SDSU, University of California San Diego, University of San Diego, and CETYS Universidad in Mexicali, Tijuana and Ensenada Mexico are selected to participate in the program based on their communications skills, work experience and aptitude for working in diverse settings. 

Each team of four to six students consults with their client companies on wide-ranging issuesOpen the image full screen.

Each team of four to six students consults with their client companies on wide-ranging issues such as medical tourism mapping, exporting and tracking products in the Baja/San Diego region, and cross-border market development plans. Participating students may also travel to Mexico to conduct research, consult with their clients and participate in additional project-related activities.

SDSU alumnus, Mauricio Rueda (’21), participated in the CBC program while he was pursuing his MBA. “I enjoyed working with the diverse group of students and with stakeholders from both sides of the border,” said Rueda, now an area sales manager for Eaton Corporation. “During the process, I learned a great deal about the reach of healthcare tourism and its impact within our local communities.” 

Consulting projects commence in January and conclude immediately prior to graduation in May when the students offer a formal presentation of their findings and recommendations. 

“The CBC program gives our graduate students, hands-on training that includes a unique immersion in the culture and diversity of international business that can’t be simulated in the classroom,” said Nancy Nicholson, program director. “Additionally, our client companies benefit from working with a talented group of business graduate students who can identify new opportunities and offer innovative solutions to their specific challenges.”

Carolyn Wheeler (‘19), who took part in the CBC program as her MBA capstone project said “my CBC experience was the best part of my MBA program without a doubt.”  

“It doesn’t mean it was easy,” Wheeler explained. “But I learned so much from the experience and I continue to draw on lessons learned during that time as I navigate challenges both personally and professionally to this day.”

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