About Butler

Course Syllabus


Dr. Roberto Curci, Academic Advisor

Roberto CurciRoberto Curci is an Associate Professor of Finance and the Eugene Ratliff Endowed Chair of Finance at Butler University. He holds a Ph.D. in International Business and Finance from University of Texas Pan American, a Master of Business Administration with concentrations in International Business and Finance from University of Miami (Florida), a Bachelor of Science in System Engineering and a Bachelor of Business Administration from ICESI University (Columbia). Professor Curci specializes in International Business and Finance and has regularly taught intensive courses, executive programs, and has engaged in research projects in leading Schools of Business in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. He is an active researcher and has published extensively in the areas of International Finance, International Business, and Immigrant-Owned businesses in books and double blind review journals such as Thunderbird International Business Review, International Finance Review, Latin American Business Review, Journal of Emerging Markets, Journal of Accounting and Finance Research, Studies in Economics and Finance, and the Global Business and Finance Review.

Team Mentors and Facilitators ~ More Information

Mr. Brian Landis, Consulting Advisor

Brian LandisBrian Landis is the Managing Director of the Butler Business Accelerator. He came to Butler University with 28 years of experience in industry and consulting. Landis joined the global consulting firm Accenture in 1997 and became a partner during his nine years with the firm, specializing in manufacturing and supply-chain improvement, technology implementation and large-scale program management. A strong advocate for the benefits of lifelong learning, he coordinated capability development for Accenture's Chicago-based analysts and participated in several joint programs with universities in Indiana, including his alma mater, Purdue University in West Lafayette, as well as Indiana University in Bloomington. Landis' diverse business background also includes 19 years working for three Fortune 500 companies - Alcoa, Detroit Diesel and IBM - in positions such as production manager, production control manager and project manager of both manufacturing improvement and computer systems initiatives.


Learning Objectives ~ More Information

  1. To gain an understanding of fundamental international business theories, concepts, and techniques and to apply them to a comprehensive evaluation of the internationalization process of a specific U.S. company.
  2. To develop the skills necessary to identify and evaluate international business opportunities.
  3. To learn how to engage in an international consultancy project and to apply these skills within the context of analyzing international business opportunities.
  4. To efficiently and effectively engage in an international consultancy project to deliver a high quality and value-added set of recommendations.

Team Skills Integration ~ More Information

The international consultancy project requires students to work in rotating teams throughout the semester. A team-based approach demands the participation of each team member (inside and outside the classroom) to the fullest extend of his/her capacity. This course doesn't allow for inconsistent participation of team members. It is extremely important that students recognize the success of each team requires the active and conscious participation of each team member for the delivery a high quality and value-added set of recommendations to the client company.

Communication Skills Integration ~ More Information

Throughout the semester, students will experience multiple opportunities to prepare and deliver oral and written reports. The instructor and the team mentors and facilitators will provide feedback on oral and written communications as needed.

Technology Integration ~ More Information

Students will be expected to regularly use computers, software, and international sources of information during the implementation of the international consultancy project. For instance, students will gather macro and micro level data, industry trends, competitive intelligence, and client company information. At the beginning of the semester, the instructor will provide students with a customized web-base system to access critical data sources to be used throughout the semester. Consultation of Internet sites will also be encouraged and suggested throughout the course.

Participants' Attendance ~ More Information

The students enrolled in this course are required and expected to actively participate in the previously illustrated three segments of this course (please see sections on how is this course organized and course outline), which includes a one-week trip to Brazil. The trip activities will take place the week that starts on October 15th, 2012 (We will leave Indianapolis on Saturday, October 13th, 2012 and will arrive back from Brazil on Sunday, October 21st, 2012). Students must attend the trip to Brazil and at a minimum eighty percent of the scheduled class meetings.

Performance Measures ~ More Information

The student's grade will be based on the assessment of individual (approximately 60 percent) as well as team (approximately 40 percent) performance. Such a grade will take into account, among other, the following aspects:                               

  • Professor assessment of participation                
  • Blind peer evaluation of participation                 
  • Individual Brazil Study Trip reflection paper                  
  • Harvard case analysis and reports                      
  • International consultancy project output
  • The reward system is as follows:

94-100 (A)
90- 93 (A-)

87-89 (B+)
84-86 (B)
80-83 (B-)

77-79 (C+)
74-76 (C)
70-73 (C-)

67-69 (D+)
64-66 (D)
60-63 (D-)


Course Outline ~ More Information

The structure of this class makes the students' individual and group study and preparation outside class extremely important. The comprehensive evaluation of a U.S. company's international business opportunities in Brazil is the backbone of this course. To accomplish this general goal the course is organized into three segments: 

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

As previously discussed, in this segment of the course the students will be introduced to fundamental international business theories, concepts, and techniques, to the business consultancy process, project planning and management, and to the business environment in Brazil.  This will be accomplished through a mix of lectures, case discussion, and guest speakers. In this segment, the course will be focused on the following activities:

  • organize teams and project assignments
  • learn how to successfully work in teams
  • 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)

As previously discussed, in this segment of the course 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. 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

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

As previously discussed, in this segment of the course the 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. 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