NDTO News Article

Gaining Real-World Experience as an Export Assistant with NDTO

Imran Mahmud joined the NDTO Team as an Export Assistant in August of 2018, while he pursues an MBA and MSBA through NDSU. Dedication to his family brought Mahmud from Bangladesh to Crookston, MN. He completed a degree in accounting and then made his way to Fargo for graduate school.

“International business runs in my blood,” Mahmud says with a smile, as he remembers his father would bring him to visit the Port of Mongla and Port of Chittagong in Bangladesh with his shrimp exporting business. His passion for global exports grew, along with technology and its applications for data analysis.

Future career goals for Mahmud include analytics and data-focused analysis paired with niche marketing for exporters. Previously working with HP, his unique approach with corporate-based contracts gave him great success before moving to the US. Building on these skills, Mahmud has taken on a variety of projects with NDTO.

Building country profiles to showcase opportunities for North Dakota has been a worthwhile project; he is finding that “researching connections globally to expand trade opportunities for North Dakota has been interesting.”  He explores a variety of resources available to create a cohesive picture of world economics and North Dakota’s impact. The profiles are being outlined for more than 190 countries when the project is complete.  Mahmud has also had the opportunity to work with our grant management team to understand aspects of how federal and state programs can be utilized for companies to expand into trade.  He says, “ it is great to understand more about funding opportunities available for companies and gain practical knowledge I can take with me for the future.”

Mentorship within the NDTO staff has also been a highlight with involvement in many day-to-day conversations around exporting, operations, and trade. “I have had the opportunity to get to know many of the companies, programs, and working with the NDTO team.” Mahmud has also reached out to several companies and contacts from Bangladesh to create North Dakota ties and facilitate future opportunities.

In his free time, you will find him studying, skateboarding, and playing the guitar! He is also active on NDSU campus as the Treasurer of the Graduate Student Council through 2021.  Mahmud anticipates graduation in December of 2021, and NDTO is looking forward to our continued work with him throughout the upcoming year.

The NDTO’s Export Assistant program works with NDSU graduate students to pre-screen and place them in ND businesses who want to expand global trade.  The NDTO Export Assistant Program is a mutually beneficial program for graduate students and NDTO member companies. Many of the Export Assistants have gone on to work with these companies, and companies have the opportunity to showcase real-world export in action and inspire more to do the same.  For more information on NDTO’s Export Assistant Program, please visit our website here.