USC business students learn about global competitiveness with small-business project initiative

Part of the mission of the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business is to offer students experiences where they can apply classroom work in the real world.

Students who worked on the small business project: (l-r) Professor Frank Rydzewski with international business students Thomas Deutinger, Vienna (Austria), Dominic Freudensprung, Vienna (Austria), Katerina Popova, Moscow (Russia), and Daniel Nagel, Columbus, Ohio. Also, pictured are Mark Myrick, sales manager, Jameson and Forrest Norman, business consultant, Rock Hill Area SBDC (photo provided).

Professor Frank Rydzewski (from left), Thomas Deutinger, Dominic Freudensprung, Katerina Popova and Daniel Nagel worked on the small-business project. Also, pictured are Mark Myrick, sales manager with Jameson and Forrest Norman, business consultant with Rock Hill Area SBDC. (photo provided)

The school partnered this year with the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers to let a student group help a local firm determine the success rate of its product in an international market.

International business students worked with commercial and construction lighting company Jameson, which is based in Clover, to develop a report on whether its newest durable lighting line, Cero light, could find business in other countries and to find the best market to release the product.

“A number of companies requested help this past semester, so many that we could not include them all in our course, which indicates a strong interest in the work of our student teams,” said Frank Rydzewski, professor of the global competitiveness class. “Jameson had previously participated in the student export projects and with a new acquisition, they were one of the first in line for this semester. We expect a large group of students in the fall, including an MBA group, so interested companies are encouraged to contact their SBDC consultant to get on the list early.”

The students learned that Jameson’s Cero light could be applied to various industries, mining in particular. The final report detailed several findings, including the high costs and slow growth of the domestic mining industry that was below average in relation to the rest of the world.

The report analyzed other more active international markets that have strong mining economies like China, Australia, South Africa, North America and parts of Africa and South America.

The students examined bureaucratic obstacles, trade barriers, risk, market saturation, currency rates, infrastructure needs, potential economic growth, duties, shipping, insurance, compliance costs and many other necessary elements involved in international trade.

The student team selected Peru as the most attractive open-mining economy for Jameson since Latin America produces more than one-sixth of all the iron ore, gold and copper in the world and Peru has a free trade agreement with the United States. Peru does, however, suffer from some domestic unrest in the country’s mining industry because of income equality, students noted.

As in years past, the class project, coupled with the business school’s long-time relationship with the SC Small Business Development Centers to connect the business community, has paid off for the students and the companies.

Mark Myrick, sales manager of Jameson, said his company has benefited from the student projects and that it is was a good way for his company to give back to the business leaders of tomorrow.

“The Cero light export project conducted by our student team is a well written and extensively researched report that provides great insight into markets that Jameson will explore further,” Myrick said. “I found the level of detail, rationale for which country was picked for export and the SWOT analysis quite useful. We can take the recommendations from this report and quickly increase our international sales.”

Categories: Business