Guest Blogger: Jeffery Null, Nathan M. Bisk College of Business student
The X-Culture Project is a very unique experience in which few students will ever have the opportunity to participate. While I expect this project to be challenging, it is a great way to gain real-world experience in working with a global virtual team; a skill which will be invaluable in today’s global market. I am very excited to work with and learn from my team members throughout the course of the project. This diverse team is composed of students from the United States, Colombia, Barbados, the United Kingdom, Ghana, and Thailand. Each person brings with them their own personal and cultural insights from around the world. I expect to learn a great deal about each one of them and their various cultures over the next few months.
While it is still very early in the project, I am finding the biggest struggle so far is communication. Everyone seems to be enthusiastic about the project and communicates clearly in English; however the distance between us makes it difficult to discuss our opinions in real-time as a group and come to consensus. This communication barrier makes me worry about meeting deadlines, but I am confident as the project progresses these issues will be resolved, and we will find times that work with everyone. Doodle has been great for establishing everyone’s availability, but still has not resolved the issue of getting everyone available at the same time; we will have to become more flexible. When communicating with individuals via Skype/Facebook, everyone has great ideas. The real challenge is choosing one idea and moving forward.
Despite the communication barriers, I am excited to see what the group can accomplish. It is incredible to see how technology has opened the door to conducting business in ways never before seen. Undoubtedly, we will face many more challenges as the project continues; each one a learning experience. Through this experience, I hope to gain a new perspective of business as it relates to the global market while developing lasting friendships with people from around the world and the skills to overcome the obstacles faced by many of today’s global businesses.