During the 2021 fall semester, NDTO’s Executive Director Drew Combs, jumped at the opportunity to engage more people in global trade. A group of students from the University of Jamestown in Jamestown, ND, enrolled in the Special Topics course on Economics and Export Trade Management. The course was overseen by Dr. Mort Sarabakhsh and has been ongoing for several years.
Students had the opportunity to explore global trade topics, emphasizing the intricacies of exporting to different countries, approaching and solving problems that may arise from an array of international uncertainties, understanding the ND export market, and factors impacting trade.
“Engaging more folks in international trade, especially the younger generation, is of particular importance for the NDTO and North Dakota as it continues to expand globally,” says Combs. The students took an in-depth look at the world around them and consistently engaged with the current events on an international scale. This year was a good opportunity for students to see export impacts globally; trade has made international headlines for supply chain issues, port backlog, and large parts of the economy forced into a standstill with the global pandemic.
As a final project, teams selected a product to export and created a market strategy plan that considered in-country factors like the political environment, cultural norms, competition, legal roadblocks, and transportation issues to gauge the success of their selected product. Then, a Shark-Tank-like presentation to a panel of judges honed in their pitching strategy for becoming export experts.
Overall, the course emphasizes how ND fits into the global economy and how to work through the complexities of exporting in today’s environment. The NDTO has taught this course every two years and will hopefully continue to provide more people with the insights and skills to start thinking about exporting.