2017 AIB US Southeast Annual Conference
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Tuesday, January 02, 2018
By Fay Al-Najadah (TREI Intern)
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On August 1st, 2017, I received an invitation to attend the X-culture symposium in Washington, D.C. Of the 30,000 past X-Culture participants, only 50 were invited to attend the Symposium this year. The symposium was held in Washington D.C. as part of the Academy of International Business’s (AIB-SE) fall regional meeting. Witnessing the collaboration between X-culture and AIB helped me realize how large the field of international business truly is. I felt encouraged to expand my education by looking at things from different lenses in the world of international business. As part of the program, I was assigned to work with teammates from New York, Miami, Oman, Italy, and Norway. We had one month to collectively research an analysis for Perkins Management services. Time management was one of the challenges my team had, as we were required to work virtually before we met in Washington D.C.


On October 26th, I met my team members, and other international students in Washington D.C. Additionally, Nicholas Perkins (CEO) and the staff of Perkins Management services were in attendance at our opening reception. He shared his role and passion for his company in a speech. Each team was then offered to choose one of Perkins staff to assist the team in preparation for their research and presentation. My team’s research coach specialized in quality assurance at Perkins Management services. She provided feedback on our work, and gave some suggestions in the way we should approach the challenge. My internship at the Global Opportunities Center requires me to consult rural companies in efforts to increase or begin their exporting. In doing that, I realize how exciting research can truly be. Because of this, I felt prepared and excited to begin my research.

On October 27th, we started our day by having a panel discussion with professors and PHD students titled “Being an academic researcher/Professor”. It was a very interesting workshop that convinced me to continue my higher education.


On October 28th, we started our day by having a small workshop about creating a unique elevator pitch, briefly describing our academic and work experience, and two professional qualifications to the CEO of a company we really wished to work for. Participants that wanted to compete on the elevator pitch were given a chance to practice with some experienced professors. The competition actually took place inside of two elevators. In the first round, I pitched my idea to the people in the first elevator. For the second round, we would be asked to go to the second elevator again, individually for our final competition. It was an interesting experience to learn that I need to improve my improvisation and negotiation skills. In addition, to the X-Culture activities I attended some sessions by the Academy of International Business. One of the interesting sessions that I enjoyed was a panel by Jorge Sigler Garcia, a graduate student from Florida Atlantic University talking about his research with other colleagues about a political risk analysis of the United Arab Emirates for the fashion industry.

The best gift you could ever have is to be connected with people who share the same purpose and interest as you. It is always exciting to attend international events, and conferences.

I thank Dr. Vas Taras for giving me the opportunity to attend the symposium for the second time. It is amazing to have a professor and a leader like Dr. Taras who generated a learning platform to connect students from all over the world to work together.



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Abdul - Hi Fay,
Nice read and happy to know that you thoroughly enjoyed the project and experienced the importance of widening your horizon by being open to people from different cultures and backgrounds.
Wishing you all the best,
Abdul Nassar, Doha, Qatar.