FAU ONLINE MBA STUDENT TAKES HOME TOP PRIZE IN COMPETITION
Jazmin Campos-Chiodin stood in the rarefied air on the 12th floor of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and sensed what a special opportunity she had before her.
Campos-Chiodin, who is enrolled in the Online MBA program in Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business, was part of a select group of students from around the world who had been invited to participate in the X-Culture Symposium in Miami, sponsored by Seminole Gaming/Hard Rock International.
She was one of just 150 students from 43 countries invited to attend the event. Split into 21 teams of seven to eight students each to compete in a Business Consulting Challenge, Campos-Chiodin and her teammates found themselves in a part of the casino normally reserved for VIPs, where they spent two hours talking with Jim H. Osceola III, a member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and senior vice president of hospitality for Seminole Gaming.
“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Campos-Chiodin said. “We got to sit with him for two hours in one of their suites and just talk about the company, about his family, about why gaming was the culture in the company. We got all this insider information from the man that helps run this company.”
It was proven to be time well spent. Campos-Chiodin and her teammates were selected as the winning team by the executives from the Seminole Gaming/Hard Rock International and won the challenge.
The competition began last spring when she became involved in X-Culture through an online course she took at FAU on International Business Operations, taught by Daniel Rottig, Ph.D, associate graduate faculty member. Part of the course is the X-Culture International Student Collaboration Project, which provides each student with an opportunity to work in virtual teams with approximately 5,000 fellow graduate students from more than 40 countries and act as consultants for real multinational corporations working on an international business expansion project throughout the academic term.
“Each of my Online MBA students worked in a separate team with peers from around the world on a different international business challenge,” Rottig explained. “This innovative project therefore engaged my students beyond traditional online course activities and had considerable impact.”
Campos-Chiodin was selected as one of the top 50 students (representing 22 countries) this academic year and invited to attend the annual 2017 AIB Southeast USA conference in Washington D.C. In the weeks leading up to the conference, the top 50 X-Culture students from around the world worked in 10 teams of five students each on a business challenge for Perkins Management Services. The student teams then presented their solution to the challenge and business proposal at the conference to Perkins’ CEO Nicholas Perkins, his executive team and conference participants.
Campos-Chiodin’s team came in second and won the 2017 X-Culture Team Challenge Runner Up Award.
At the 2017 AIB-SE conference in Washington D.C., the top 50 X-Culture students from around the world were also tasked with pitching a business idea to a panel of potential investors or employers in a real elevator at the conference location. The result? Campos-Chiodin won the 2017 X-Culture Business Proposal Elevator Pitch Award. Soon after, she was asked by Vasyl Taras, Ph.D., founder of X-Culture, to join the X-Culture team and assist with the expansion of X-Culture Academy. She gladly accepted and is currently working with Taras on the launching of the pilot program for X-Culture Kids and Teens.
Working with students from different countries presented many logistical and cultural challenges, Campos-Chiodin said. She learned that everyone communicates, handles stress and overcomes obstacles differently, but that doesn’t mean they can’t understand each other.
“Regardless of how weak or strong I felt, I needed them to make it up there,” she said of her teammates. “By yourself there’s no way you can sell a product to someone just on your own. You can’t develop it, produce it and check everything, because one person is not perfect. But when you have more than one mind working on it perfection is attainable.”