X-Culture Academy provides business students with opportunity to solve problems with virtual international teams

December 4, 2017 |

This fall semester a group of Indiana University East students have had the opportunity to work with other students in higher education from across the globe through the X-Culture Academy, a program that teams students together to solve real problems companies are facing.

The students participated in the project through the International Business Environment course, taught by Assistant Professor of Management Arkadiusz Mironko.

IU East students participated with nearly 1,000 students from about 100 universities in nearly 40 countries, Mironko said. He added teams worked virtually in groups of five to six people on real company projects.

Prior to participating in the X-Culture Academy, students were required to pass a readiness test. The students were then grouped with a global virtual team, presented with a business challenge and they had two months to work together to develop a solution.

“I wanted to add something different to this course,” Mironko said. He joined IU East this fall as a new faculty member in the School of Business and Economics. “It proved to be a great opportunity for the students to be exposed to the international environment, albeit virtually.”

This week on November 28, the nine students participating in X-Culture Academy were presented with certificates for successfully completing the project. The certificates were presented by Mironko and Dean of the School of Business and Economics Bob Mulligan. One of the IU East teams finished in the top 5 percent this semester.

Participation in the X-Culture Academy provides students with an opportunity to learn through experience.

Tyler Campbell, a junior business major, said the diverse teams overcame language barriers, learned about each other’s cultures while providing students with real experiences to enter the workforce. He said the experience has helped him earn a promotion at work, learn how to overcome complications with working with team members in different time zones while developing a comprehensive report.

“This experience has also encouraged me to explore the world,” Campbell said. “I was able to make friends with people from the Netherlands, Columbia and India, which not every college student gets to say they have that sort of network.”

Mulligan said participation in the X-Culture Academy is a unique experience for students.

“This is such an exciting and innovative thing to do in an international business class,” Mulligan said. “It exemplifies the entrepreneurial approach IU East faculty bring to the classroom, and it allows our students to collaborate with international peers in a way that’s comparable to the highest-ranked international M.B.A. programs. It’s a big win for our students and IU East, and our hats off to Dr. Mironko for delivering it.”