Virtual International Business and Consulting Projects in the Asia Pacific Region

Due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, Tippie winter global programs will be run in a remote, virtual format. Programs will not involve international travel in Winter 2020. They will be entirely virtual and are approved to count for Tippie RISE.

Course Information

Gain a deeper understanding of international business in the Asia Pacific Region through a virtual course and hands-on consulting project that you can complete from home. 

You will start by learning about issues confronting small-medium enterprises and multi-national enterprises in the Asia Pacific Region, learning specifically about Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The lectures will be taught by a local instructor in Australia and will be infused with virtual business briefings from a company in each country. The course introduces you to the basic concepts of international business and the rise of globalization. It examines the importance of understanding key political-legal, socio-economic, and technological factors and issues impacting international trade in this region

You will then apply what you have learned in a virtual consulting project with a company in either Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, or Hong Kong. You will be assigned into groups of 3-5 students to work on a real business project, spending approximately 45 hours across 3 weeks to complete the project and provide a virtual presentation at the end of the project. Gain hands on experience working in a virtual international environment while also networking with companies around the world. 

Course credit satisfies Tippie RISE and also counts in the following ways:

  • Pick one: MKTG:4000 Contemporary Topics in Marketing (major level marketing elective) or International Global Issues for Tippie students (general education)
  • Pick one: For the International Business Certificate: International Business Section or Study Abroad Section

Virtual Project Examples

The objective of the project is to develop a marketing plan. This marketing plan would be presented to key stakeholders within the business with recommendation on resourcing and funding required in order to deliver the objectives. 

  • Develop a SWOT analysis to determine how the project can help the company achieve its business objectives. This may require further consumer research
  • Interview key stakeholders to understand what initiatives are already going on that can form part of the plan
  • Develop a marketing plan that distills the lessons from above and formulates a plan for the company to leverage the product or service
  • Participate in departmental meetings and conference calls with clients 

The objectives of the project include:

  1. Identifying key sectors with venture growth potential in ASEAN
  2. Identifying successful business models and disruptive technologies applicable to ASEAN
  3. Identifying target companies that will be suitable early stage investments given your company's investment mandate. 

Key deliverables will include a sector report, market size projections and investment memo.  
To achieve this objective, the students will:

  • Conduct in-depth research on industries, value chains and business models
  • Consolidate data and conduct market size projections
  • Formulate investment/sector thesis
  • Participate in meetings with entrepreneurs where relevant to given topic  

By the end of the project, students should have an overview of the role and responsibilities required of junior investment staff and broadly understand how venture funds deploy capital and construct a portfolio.

Across five work streams the cohort will create a framework to help identify how digitally enabled a business is, where their gaps are and where (using their wider networks) business owners can find the support they need.

  • Short term wins aligning to long term strategy 
  • Pivot a business model using digital channels
  • Develop the right business processes 
  • How to optimize eCommerce to get the most out of the digital transformation 
  • Using social and digital marketing to drive tangible outcomes  

Project objective: The objective of this project is to produce a report/presentation on (but not limited to) the following:

  • What does it mean to be digitally active?
  • Where are SMEs currently getting their information?
  • How is that information being consumed?
  • What are the best channels to reach these businesses?
  • What are the biggest challenges?
  • What are the immediate pain points?
  • What will it require to transition to a permanent digital footprint?
  • What are some of the digital tools/systems/infrastructure considerations?
  • How will you measure success/productivity?
  • A matrix of the information/support offered by each member of the cohort. And a plan on next step actions. 

To achieve this the students will:

  • Interview the cohort members to understand their SME propositions
  • Attend meetings with the cohort as appropriate
  • Carry out wider research on the above topics
  • Collect and analyze data held by the various cohort members
  • Through the networks of the cohort gather feedback from SMEs
  • Create a summary report of their findings and a suggested action plan for moving forward
Coogee Coast

Important Dates and Application


  • Applications for winter break December 2020 - January 2021 are closed

Tentative Program Dates:

  • Virtual class meetings:
    • December 20, 21, 22, 28, 29
    • January 6
    • Course will be a combination of live class meetings, live company briefings, and recorded company briefings
  • Virtual consulting projects
    • Begin the week of December 20
    • Conclude with virtual presentation on January 15
    • Project work will be done through virtual group and company meetings
Hong Kong


Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • GPA: 2.75 UI and cumulative
  • Academic Prerequisites: MKTG:3000 or approval of program director
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing

If you have questions regarding eligibility requirements, contact the program director prior to submitting an application.

Hong Kong

Program Fee and Scholarships

The program fee is expected to be $1,655. This includes 3 s.h. of course credit and is comparable to tuition for all 3 s.h. courses offered through the University of Iowa over winter break. There is a $50 application fee for this program. 

This program qualifies for study abroad scholarships through both Tippie and the Study Abroad office. 

Apply for Tippie Scholarships