Global Business Fellows Resume International Travel with Presentation to Uber Spain
In March, Global Business Fellows (GBF) students presented their final consulting report to executives at Uber in Madrid, Spain, as part of their Global Business Experience course (GBE).
Ananya Chowla (B’22), Lindsay Bing (SFS’22), and Steven Skomra (B’22) were members of student teams that consulted for Uber on three different business challenges in the areas of commercial partnerships and customer experience.
On tackling the business challenge from Washington D.C.
Prior to the trip to Spain, students had to address three business challenges under the guidance of Ricardo Ernst, Baratta Chair in Global Business, and via regular Zoom meetings with their point of contact in Madrid.
“As we began constructing our project we made it an emphasis to ask our client as many tangible questions as we could in order to gain constructive feedback,” said Skomra. “By asking direct questions we were able to gain a more clear direction to concentrate our efforts.”
“My biggest takeaway from working with a foreign client was that sometimes overcommunicating is essential,” said Bing. “We found that being prepared with a lot of questions for our weekly check-in meetings was the most effective use of our time to both clarify expectations and refine our work.”
The ability to meet face-to-face with their global clients is the culmination of a semester-long project with their peers and a celebration of their overall experience at Georgetown McDonough.
On learning about Uber operations in Spain:
This was the first time all GBF students consulted for Uber, a company they are very familiar with in the United States, but with operational nuances in foreign markets.
“This consulting opportunity provided deeper insights into what Uber Spain has autonomy over versus what is managed on a global scale,” said Chowla.
For Bing, the project made her realize how the same company can look drastically different in other countries due to the regulatory environment.
“Much of the day-to-day work of our client involves navigating regulatory challenges and finding creative solutions to new issues that arise constantly,” said Bing.
“Prior to this experience, I had very little understanding of the competitive landscape within Spain or Europe that companies like Uber face everyday,” said Skomra. “This experience taught me that while global businesses may provide the same core competencies throughout the world, the way in which they are able to achieve their objectives often looks very different on a region-to-region basis.
The fellows who participated in the GBE trip this spring were part of Georgetown McDonough’s graduating class of 2022. Their global consulting trip was one of their last courses in the two-year GBF program.
“The week-long trip to Madrid was a perfect capstone to the fellowship program, and I’m so grateful for the friendships that I made and the business lessons that I learned,” said Bing.
“This was such a culturally and professionally enriching experience,” said Chowla. “The bonding moments with my classmates solidified the community feeling within our GBF cohort after the time apart during COVID-19.”