About Butler

What is the MBA545-51 all about? 


In today's globalized business environment, leaders need to develop an international business perspective and a global mindset. Just as important, they need to develop relevant, tangible skills. Within the context of an international consultancy project, the Applied International Business course provides Butler MBA students with the opportunity to develop advanced knowledge and experience in the field of international business. Students will be challenged to develop a comprehensive evaluation of the international business opportunities within Brazil for a U.S. client company. The course includes a one week study trip to Brazil. Through this experience, MBA students will develop substantive experience in Brazil, one of the premier BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) emerging markets. They will develop an advanced level of proficiency in the process of evaluating international opportunities for U.S. companies. 

When will this course be offered? Show Answer

This 3-credit, MBA545-51 capstone course will be offered in the fall semester of 2012.  The course will meet on Tuesdays from 6 p.m.-8:40 p.m.  In addition, participants in this capstone course are required to participate in a one-week MBA Study Trip to Brazil (a 2-credit course).  The study-trip portion of the class is planned for October 13th through October 21st, 2012 and includes visits to Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro and possible Campinas.  

How does this course count in the curriculum? Show Answer

This course allows students to satisfy the 3-credit core MBA545 Integrated Capstone Experience requirement. Students participating on this capstone course must concurrently sign up for participation in a one week MBA Study Trip to Brazil.

The study trip is counted as a 2-credit elective course that is applicable towards any of the concentration areas (leadership, marketing, finance, and international business). 

How is this course taught? Show Answer

Dr. Roberto Curci will be the lead instructor and academic advisor for this course.

However, this course will also have the instructional support of two team mentors and facilitators: Mr. Brian Landis, Managing Director of the Butler Business Accelerator.

How is this course organized? Show Answer

The course is organized into three segments:

Segment 1, Pre-Trip: (7 weeks - August 22nd to October 12th, 2012)

Students will be introduced to fundamental international business theories, concepts, and techniques, to the business consultancy process, project planning, and to the business environment in Brazil.  This will be accomplished through a mix of lectures, case discussion, and guest speakers. The students will be organized in teams, and each team will be given responsibility for a particular aspect of an international consultancy project.  The teams will: 1) Define the scope of the project; 2) Plan its implementation, and 3) Prepare and deliver a formal letter of engagement to the client company. The letter of client engagement will specify, among other aspects, the scope of the project, the implementation plan, and the project deliverables. The student teams will begin the secondary data collection and analysis before departure to Brazil. In this segment, the course will be focused on the following activities:

  • organize teams and project assignments
  • understand client company background
  • learn how to undertake a consulting project
  • learn about project planning and management
  • refine the scope of each team's role in the client consulting project
  • prepare and deliver a formal letter of client engagement
  • gather secondary data for the client's industry and the Brazilian market
Segment 2, Brazil Study Trip: (1 Week - October 13th to October 21st, 2012)

The students, instructor, and mentor(s) will be in Brazil(Rio de Janeiro and/or Sao Paulo) for one week. The trip will introduce participants to the culture, history, and business environment in Brazil. Specifically, students will develop a broader perspective of contemporary Brazilian business issues through a briefing on U.S. - Brazilian political and business relations at the U.S. Embassy in Sao Paulo, by attending lectures about the country's major industries at local institutions, and by visiting the operations of selected U.S. and Brazilian corporations. Additional information relevant to the international consultancy project will be gathered throughout the trip. In this segment, the course will be focused on the following activities:

  • receive a briefing on doing business in Brazil by U.S. Embassy officials
  • learn about Brazilian society's history, values and culture
  • learn about economic conditions and trends in Brazil
  • learn about Brazilian financial system and capital markets
  • learn about Brazilian business environment and practices
  • visit relevant Brazilian channels of distributions
  • gather relevant information about client's prospective competitors
  • visit the client's prospective stakeholders (buyers, suppliers, agents, etc).
  • visit operations of Brazilian and U.S. corporations
  • enjoy Brazilian culture, cuisine, and folklore

Students will be charged a fee to cover Butler University's out-of-pocket expenses to compensate our partner institutions in Brazil for the organization and delivery of the study trip activities, which will include lectures, corporate visits, hotel accommodations, food (breakfast), cultural visits, and local transportation. The instructor will coordinate and provide students with information regarding international transportation arrangements. However, students will pay the airline company directly for the cost of international transportation to Rio de Janeiro and/or Sao Paulo.

Segment 3, Post-Trip: (7 weeks - October 22nd to December 10th, 2012)

Students will apply international business frameworks to analyze and integrate the knowledge developed and the information generated during Segments 1 & 2 of the class. Specifically, they will comprehensively evaluate the international business opportunities of the U.S.-based client. The students will prepare a preliminary report of their findings and recommendations to share with the client company.  Client feedback will be solicited during this process, and the students will incorporate the feedback for the purpose of developing final written and oral reports of their evaluation and recommendations to the client. In this segment, the course will be focused on the following activities:

  • organize information gathered and knowledge learned
  • identify client's potential international business opportunities in Brazil
  • evaluate costs/benefits of alternatives and generate recommendations
  • prepare a pre-report executive summary for discussion with the client
  • obtain client's feedback on the proposed recommendations
  • incorporate client's recommendations and write final report
  • deliver written and oral presentations of the final report

How is this course interdisciplinary? Show Answer

International business is interdisciplinary by nature and as such the instructor encourages the participation of MBA students from any concentration. The problems we will encounter are business problems and are not specific to a single functional area (leadership, marketing, international business, finance). The international consultancy project requires students to work in rotating teams throughout the semester. Therefore, the instructors seek students with different backgrounds, experiences and areas of expertise.

Is enrollment limited? Show Answer

Enrollment is capped at 12 students. Interested students are encouraged to submit their application as early as possible. The enrollment process is already open. For course enrollment, applications are considered on a first-come-first-served basis. Students will be approved for participation in this course within a few days after the application has been received. To assemble a diverse group of participants it is important that we understand your motivation for taking this course as well as your professional background. If a large number of applications are received, the selection process will take into account the applicant's motivation to enroll in this course and his/her background.

The instructor expects to receive and process students' applications by April 15th, 2012. When this course fills, the acceptance of new applications will be closed.

What is the application process?

Print this one-page application. The application and evaluation process is already open. Upon completing the application, follow the steps listed below:

Procedures and Deadlines

  1. Getting admitted to the course:
    • Print and complete this application. Students will not be able to enroll in this course online.
    • Email or fax your complete application to Dr. Roberto Curci and type "AIB-Brazil Application" in the subject line. (Fax: 317-566-9432)
    • Dr. Curci expects he will inform applicants about the approval of applications within a week after the application has been received. However, depending upon the level of demand for this course, the applicants' evaluation process may require a longer period.
    • Ms. Joyce Bacone will receive a copy of Dr. Curci's approval/rejection notice to applicants.
  2. Once Dr. Curci admits a student for participation on this course, the student should contact Ms. Joyce Bacone to formally register for the course. Ms. Bacone will add this course to the student's fall schedule.
  3. Registration Deadline - Once you are approved by Dr. Curci, you have until April 30th, 2012 to make your registration request to Ms. Bacone. By registering you are making a full commitment to participate in this course and to travel to Brazil.

If you have any questions regarding the application process please feel free to contact Dr. Roberto Curci:

Roberto Curci, Ph.D.
Holcomb Building, HB257
Tel: (317) 940-9980

Email: rcurci@butler.edu