The Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business hosted its inaugural Export Management Bootcamp in Baltimore on April 28-29.
The two-day session, which will become an annual event and highlight of a portfolio of programs aimed at helping businesses supercharge their export capacity, brought together 10 professionals from regional companies and business development centers. The bootcamp was co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Maryland Department of Commerce, and the Maryland District Export Council.
The bootcamp – a first for the region – equipped participants with a solid foundation in global strategy, resources in export management, market analysis, and the resources they need to move goods and services into the global market, the right way. “While working with companies and supporting agencies in the area, like our partners in the Maryland Department of Commerce, it became apparent that companies often dabble in exporting without first really understanding how to do it most effectively,” said CIBER Managing Director Rebecca Bellinger, who designed the program. “I thought it important to build a program that would provide clear guidance on both export regulations and process.” Exports from the state of Maryland have grown by 45% since 2005, and the state has recently launched a series of new initiatives to further increase the number of companies in the state that export.
Participants came from a range of industries, including pharmaceutical, manufacturing, economic development, and startups. “I’ve never attended such a comprehensive course related to exporting,” shared Derek Court, bootcamp participant and Export Operations Manager at McCormick & Co., Inc. “This type of training has been difficult to find. I thought the topics and content were very well chosen. The lead trainer thoroughly explained each section, and I particularly thought the explanation of INCO terms was excellent. I also thought the agencies and industry speakers that were pulled into the course were well chosen and provided a lot of insight.”
The program’s five sessions were led by Gary Cohen, associate dean of Executive Programs and clinical professor at the Smith School. To complement the five sessions, CIBER partnered with guest speakers from more than 10 export-related agencies and companies in the region. Guest speakers included representatives from the U.S. Commercial Service Baltimore, Maryland Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Maryland District Export Council, John S. Connor, UPS, Port of Baltimore, Small Business Administration, and the Export-Import Bank. “The guest speakers and partners were essential in the design of the bootcamp. The main goal for the program was not only to teach professionals how to export, but also to connect them with the resources they will need to be successful,” said Bellinger. “I look forward to engaging these key partners in future programs that support our mutual mission of supporting companies involved in international trade.”
“It was truly an honor for me to deliver this program along with representatives from the other agencies,” said Cohen. “For the participants who are not yet exporting, my hope is that they now know how to evaluate the prospects for looking to sell overseas. For those who have already been exporting, my hope is that they learned how to be more strategic about their practices and identify efficiencies in their supply chains while diversifying their risk.”
The Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) is part of the Smith School’s Office of Global Initiatives and supported by a four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education. CIBER serves as regional and national resource center for teaching, research, and outreach in international business and related fields. The mission of CIBER is to promote U.S. capacity for international understanding and economic enterprise and the ability of U.S. business to prosper in an international economy.