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Cardiff win at International Trade event

5 December 2018

Delegates at International Trade Event
Delegates gather to compete in the 2018 National Trade Academy Programme’s ‘Trade Export Challenge’

Students from Cardiff Business School have claimed bragging rights after competing against teams from Welsh Universities and Colleges at the 2018 National Trade Academy Programme’s ‘Trade Export Challenge’.

Students pitched their strategies for trade export to a panel of experts after support from the International Trade Secretary and President of the Board of Trade, Dr Liam Fox MP and the Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns MP during a visit to Swansea University’s Bay Campus.

Red Dragon and Gynnar

Seven student teams competed from Cardiff Business School, Swansea University School of Management, Cardiff Metropolitan University School of Management, Aberystwyth University School of Management and Business and Neath Port Talbot College.

Cardiff Business School entered two teams, Red Dragon and Gynnar, made up of students from the School’s undergraduate, postgraduate and MBA programmes.

Martin Stefka, a third year International Business Management student at Cardiff Business School, said: “The National Trade Academy Programme was a great experience that allowed us to learn so much about the reality of exporting. And winning the award was the cherry on top of the cake.”

Each team was asked to position themselves as a senior management team of a large Welsh dairy manufacturer to explore how the company could sell internationally.

Frederik Ejlerson, a final year BSc Business Management student at Cardiff Business School, said: “The trade experience has broadened my understanding of the network of international trade, and how complicated tasks need to be executed correctly and efficiently for any economic interaction to take place.”

As part of the competition, each team was expected to:

  • Design a yoghurt product suitable for exporting;
  • Develop an accompanying export strategy;
  • And present findings to a panel of experts.

Dr Jane Lynch, Director of Student Experience at Cardiff Business School, said: “It was so important for our students to participate in an event like this to supplement their studies...”

Jane Lynch

“We faced strong competition from other university and college teams. I would like to congratulate all the students on their professionalism, outstanding presentations and evidence of team work.”

Dr Jane Lynch, Senior Lecturer in Supplier Management

Following a series of presentations by industry experts, students had three hours to finalise their business plans before delivering their presentations.

Mona Aranea, a Research Associate at Cardiff Business School, said: “Our students took on the export challenge with immense dedication and passion and their winning title is well deserved...”

Photograph of Mona Aranea

“I was impressed by the hard work and team spirit they employed before and during the challenge. It was a pleasure to observe how they developed their ideas and then presented them in a highly professional and collaborative form.”

Dr Mona Aranea, Research Associate

The next generation

Students from Cardiff, Swansea, Neath and Aberystwyth learning about the international trade environment
Students from Cardiff, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Aberystwyth learning about the international trade environment

Cong Niu, a student on the Cardiff MBA, said: “The International Export Academy programme was an excellent experience. I grew more aware of the importance of teamwork, and especially the ability to form teams and complete tasks with strangers in a short period.

“The competition extended my understanding of export trade, too. All in all, I think this will benefit my MBA study and my future career.”

Alice Horn, in her final year of the Business Management BSc at Cardiff Business School, added: “This unique experience has strengthened friendships and helped me learn so much about different cultures.”

Liam Fox, President of UK Department for International Trade and Alun Cairns, Secretary for State in Wales were both in attendance and offered feedback on the students’ business plans before final presentations were delivered to a judging panel of three experts.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: “I was delighted to see the next generation of global business leaders and policymakers working with such enthusiasm as part of the National Trade Academy Programme today...”

Profile image of Alun Cairns

“The challenge set, together with the expert support and advice provided by some of our most successful Welsh entrepreneurs will equip them with the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in the future.”

Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales

Drive growth and prosperity

The event was part of a wider meeting of the Board of Trade who, for the first time, convened in Wales to launch £240 million worth of Welsh energy and infrastructure projects to global investors.

The Board of Trade brings together prominent business leaders from all across the UK to champion exports and investment opportunities to drive growth and prosperity across the whole of the UK.

Find out more about the ways in which your organisation can work with our students, including placements and live projects.