IPE Fall 2019 Notre Dame Experience

Iliana Portugal, SIBC Vice President

Going into my senior year I was selected to attend the International Political and Economic forum in South Bend, Indiana. The topic of the forum was current urban challenges facing the City of Albuquerque, it was fitting that former SIBC President and current Mayor of Albuquerque Tim Keller was in attendance. We presented our research to Mayor Tim Keller and SIBC benefactor Frank Potenziani, who we networked with following the presentations.

For the presentation, I was paired with two other council members from University of Notre Dame and Benedictine College. Due to the nature of the forum, we were given less than a week to prepare. We worked tirelessly to research, analyze and provide solutions to the current urban challenge of the Opioid crisis, both nationally and regionally. The prompt required us to think of creative solutions for a pressing issue that has been receiving a great deal of media attention. I pushed myself to new lengths, adapting to unexpected changes and leading individuals I had not yet met. 

This has been an extraordinary learning experience, I proved to myself that I have the skills to be successful upon graduation. I know the remaining year of my undergraduate at USD will be filled with invaluable experiences, allowing me to become a well rounded business professional. I am excited to see where my International Business degree will take me in the future.

Cesar Manzo, VP Finance

The IPE project is an amazing experience full of opportunities to reinforce your skills on public speaking, leadership, and team-work. The best part of this project was being working with SIBC students from Notre Dame and Benedictine. I believe that this project model should continue for future projects because it its similar to what the job-market wants. The different prompts assigned to this project was phenomenal because everybody was able to learn from each other about Albuquerque, New Mexico. I enjoyed being able to work in a cooperative environment rather than a competitive environment. Most of us were able to get to know each other and was easy to have fruitful conversations.

Researching Markets in Southern Europe & MENA

Demitrius Goods, Finance & Marketing Major

The experience in Greece and Cyprus was one of a kind! Being able to travel across the world to present about market opportunities in such radically different environments than the U.S. was an eye opening experience. For myself, researching the digital marketing industry in a variety of different countries really opens one’s perspective of the world. There are similarities to American marketing, but with so many factors present in the Southern European and MENA (Middle East & North African) regions that we just don’t think about everyday, researching took a lot of time and effort.

The project surrounded which countries we believed that SocialWay eServices, a digital marketing company in Nicosia, Cyprus, should enter. We based our results on the value, size, competitiveness, etc. of each market and our own evaluation of how well the company would do in each given market. My research centered around the digital advertising market in Egypt. My team and myself utilized a key statistics, trends, PESTLE & Five Force analysis to break down each market and explore the opportunities in each segment. I was blown away by the differences from the Egyptian market compared to Lebanon, Israel and Cyprus. They were all so close together geographically and even considered under one title: MENA. However, for example, Egypt is undoubtedly less free than those other countries and I didn’t realize the effect a country’s political landscape can have on an industry. There was a lot of potential in Egypt with over 101 million people and increasing use of social media, yet there was an insane grip of censorship by the government and the internet was 10x slower there than anywhere else in the country. Egypt’s untapped potential made me think of all the opportunity someone in an American market could achieve with a segment this size, yet when you look at other factors like internet penetration (49%) and the freedom rank of this country (22/100) it makes you realize that there are so many factors that play into global marketing than just having a good business idea and marketing plan. The landscape of a market plays a crucial role in company success and this project gave me a deeper understanding of how research plays a vital role when trying to expand your business.

In all, this project was a wonderful experience due to an amazing amount of work and effort put in by my team for months leading up to the presentation. Dr. Daspro was an amazing advisor that helped glue our points together and guide us on a trip of a lifetime. I am forever grateful for SIBC in giving me this opportunity to be able to enjoy this experience that I am sure I will take with me for the rest of my life.

A Cultural Comparison of Greece and Cyprus

By Mikayla Booker, Senior studying Business Administration

Initially when we embarked on the flight from LAX airport to Greece, I expected Cypriot and Greek culture to be very similar considering that the two countries are only a four-hour flight from each other. Upon arriving to Athens, the city was very lively and full of shopping and trendy restaurants. The restaurants offered a variety of selection to pick from, which was indicative of the openness of the Greek people to try things outside of their traditional cuisine. I anticipated the people to dress more conservative in comparison to San Diego summer attire, but it was relatively the same. Everyone seemed relaxed and happy to be enjoying the summer days. In terms of infrastructure, the city was covered in spray paint graffiti on almost every building. The streets were run down and there was a mix of modern and older model vehicles, but there was no apparent differentiation between economic status amongst anyone. The majority of people we encountered throughout Greece spoke English, which was extremely convenient and again surprising to learn. While visiting the popular Acropolis archaeological site it was thought-provoking to see structures that have been standing since 447 B.C. Those same structures will continue to stand long after I have passed away and it was humbling to be in their presence. Overall, Greece offered ancient history while still maintaining a modern feel. 

After spending a few days in Athens, I carried the same standard of expectations to Cyprus. Cyprus was drastically different than I anticipated in terms of the people and the infrastructure. I expected to encounter a large amount of Greeks, but it seemed to be mainly people of Middle Eastern descent. I also learned about the history of the Turkish and Greek divide over Cyprus and how that has affected the north of Cyprus dramatically. I would consider Nicosia underdeveloped in comparison to the other countries I have traveled, but according to our client the northern half of Cyprus is even more underdeveloped than the southern. It opened my eyes to see how people went about their daily life in comparison to what I observed in Greece. There were far less cars and people wandering about. The restaurant and nightlife experience were far less vibrant than in Athens. The Cypriots themselves were very welcoming and friendly to us, educating us on their traditional dishes and cultural customs. Overall, there is definitely potential for Cyprus to become a hotspot for travel considering its geographic location. I would love to visit in a few years to see if the country has made any progress in terms of infrastructure development.


Tesla Project

Shared by Kevin Jerger, USD Senior

This past March, the SIBC Tesla Team had the privilege to travel to Fremont, California to present to the Sales Analytics Team at Tesla. In the Fall, we were given a two part prompt by USD Alumni, Jordan Jadallah, regarding both seasonality sales trends, and also store location optimization. Our team faced a difficult task that required a data intensive approach to solving our prompt. I speak for the entire team saying that it was an incredible experience getting to work on real world data and having the autonomy to solve the problem creatively. We utilized programs such as Tableau in ways many students do not have the opportunity to. As project leader, it was a formative experience for myself in terms of meeting deadlines and ensuring the team had the resources they needed to accomplish their tasks. 

When arriving at the Tesla headquarters, we were welcomed by the Tesla team in their executive board room. Our presentation went smoothly and was received very well by our hosts. Seeing how our work was met with their constant engagement and interaction with our presentation was well worth the hard work the team put in throughout the life of the project. It was incredible experience for the entire team to work hands-on with real sales data and analyze this data into a meaningful results for our client. We also had the privilege of enjoying an unbelievable tour of the Tesla factory to top off our trip. I am incredibly grateful to our SIBC donors, USD faculty, and the Tesla team for the opportunity to partake in this experience

International Political and Economics Forum

Written by SIBC Council Member Savannah Sambrano:

IPE was a really rewarding experience that gave me the opportunity to learn about the council and all it has to offer. Because IPE, I was able to meet the donors, understand the mission behind SIBC, become familiar with the opportunities available because of SIBC, and network with members of the councils at the Benedictine and Notre Dame, as well as with our donors. I used this project as a chance to get integrated into interpreting prompts for analysis, collaborative research, and refining information for professional presentations. As my first project in the SIBC, these were tasks that I wasn’t too familiar with, but am now comfortable with. IPE provides the students with stimulating prompts that demand the students to think critically, while still allowing room for creativity in the presentations. The donors provide helpful advice for the members to enhance future presentations, but also encouraging feedback that allow students to recognize how their hard work has paid off. I think IPE is the perfect project for anyone looking to join SIBC to start with as it is the right balance between a professional and social networking opportunity.

Urrea Global Branding Project, Guadalajara, Mexico. November 2018

The Urrea Global Branding Project in Guadalajara, Mexico, created by SIBC Advisor Professor Eileen Daspro, gave students the chance to work on a global branding project for the U.S. Market. They also worked closely with the Marketing Director Caleb Barragan and Marketing Intelligence Director Laura Krauze. After their presentation the team was invited to tour their factory, automated distribution and showroom center. Maddie Jackson, the Project Leader, shared her experience:

Traveling to Guadalajara was truly an eye-opening experience since we were exposed to Mexico’s industrial area, business district, and historic side of the city.  Our job consisted of researching the United States market on how Urrea bathroom furnishings company could enter the California, Texas, and Florida regions of the United States with their ball valves, toilets, floor drains, and sinks.  Research took over a month and many drafts of presentations to perfect the slides for presentation day at Urrea in Guadalajara. Dr. Daspro, Nick, Chandler, Jennifer, and Maddie traveled to Guadalajara late at night using the Cross Border Express, then catching a flight to Guadalajara.  Early in the morning on November 16th, the team toured family-owned Urrea company's showroom, walked around Universidad de Urrea, touched their various awards, and presented to two representatives at Urrea on how to strategically enter the US market with our assigned products. Following the presentation, Caleb gave us a tour around the Urrea factory about a half hour outside of the Urrea showroom and offices in the inner city.  The factory was expansive, and named one of the best companies to work for in Mexico. Urrea is one of the largest bathroom furnishings companies in Mexico, so the cleanliness and efficiency was extremely impressive to the team upon seeing the various robots, chemists, factory lines, and product testing. The following day the group had a private tour of the historic part of the city. We went to various churches, neighborhoods, authentic restaurants, art museums, and street stands to shop.  The contrast of seeing the modern and the traditional sides of Guadalajara made us all appreciate and respect the Mexican business culture. We wanted to thank our generous SIBC donors for this unforgettable learning experience in Guadalajara!

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Cyprus Internship Final Video

This video shows some of the fun things the interns did while in Cyprus. This experience would not have happened without M&T Trust, Frank Potenziani , and Sofia Panayides. Thank you so much to them for help fund/find this experience. 

The End of Our Cyprus Internships

We would again like to thank Frank Potenziani and M&T Trust for the ability to experience international travel and business. This experience we gained at our respective internships were amazing.

For the last blog post, all the interns created videos to give more of an insight into Famous Sports and Socialway eServices. 

 
 

Only Two Weeks Until The End Of Our Internship

We would again like to thank Frank Potenziani and M&T Trust for the ability to experience international travel and business. This internship has been like anything we could have imagined.

Julia Freund ’20, International Business and Ethnic Studies, writes about what she does at Famous Sports.

At Famous Sports, I spend the majority of my time creating and forming layouts/graphics via Photoshop that are used for Famous Sports’ newsletters, Instagram posts, and giveaways on social media. Normally, my supervisor just gives me the products and I have to create what the graphic will look like. Being able to come up with a campaign that I know is being used by the company and being seen by their customers validates my Photoshop skills. A lot of the times being an intern, one does not get these opportunities to actually do a project and see it be used by the company, so this very exciting for me. When I am not getting photoshop assignments, I help out by taking and editing pictures for the website, putting English and Greek descriptions on their website, and write in the look books of the companies Famous Sports represents their percentage of sales compared to how much they bought. When I took pictures for Famous Sports website it involved obtaining the clothing from the store downstairs and then coming back to the office to photograph them.

Attached is an example of a graphic I made. On the left is what the final product looked like on Photoshop and on the right is how it looked when it was used for the newsletter.

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Marie Lawson ’21, International Business and Marketing, speaks on what she does at Famous Sports.

This week at Famous Sports has been crucial to my understanding of the inner workings of the company. The duties of the paper filing system have been assigned to me for the remainder of the internship. What this entails is the daily collection of new paperwork, the writing of customer numbers on each of the sheets, and the numerical organization of said files. Although the paperwork is in Greek, I am able to assist with the workload of filing through the numerical decimal system they have in place at Famous Sports. Each customer is assigned a number from twenty to seventy with three to five decimal places after the initial number in order to specify the customer’s identity. Once the information on the file is complete, including name, email, and phone number, the customer is assigned a number into the company’s computer database which is then transferred onto a paper file. It did take some time to find an efficient method to filing large quantities of paper, but I have been able to complete the task with confidence after much practice. Along with my filing duties, I have become acquainted with the various product lines and retail products through the exploration of the website. I have gone through all the products one-by-one in order to check for typos in the English translation of the product title and description. As time has progressed with this internship, I have felt more and more a part of this incredible company.

 

Carolina Lemmen Meyer ’19, International Business and a Political Science Minor, and Caroline Murray ’21, International Business and Spanish Minor, made a video for this week's post.

 

One month to Go!!

We would again like to thank Frank Potenziani and M&T Trust for the ability to experience international travel and business. This opportunity has been amazing so far!

Your Guide to Exploring Cyprus Part I

We would like to thank Frank Potenziani and M&T Trust for the ability to experience international travel and business, this experience is unlike any other we could ever dream of.

 

Julia Freund ’20, International Business and Ethnic Studies, Carolina Lemmen Meyer ’19, International Business and a Political Science Minor, and Marie Lawson ’21, International Business and Marketing, wrote about some places to visit while in Cyprus.

 

Ayia Napa

 

Ayia Napa is a popular town on the southeast coast of Cyprus. Cypriots and tourists come to this town to experience the beaches. We are planning to go to Ayia Napa this upcoming weekend as we only have five weeks left in Cyprus. Ayia Napa is known as a beach town as therefore some things to do is do a Catamaran cruise or charter a boat around Mediterranean for the day, go to the many beaches like Nissi Beach or Macronissos Beach, or go to the many sea caves around the town. Going to the beaches are not the only things to do there are also a bunch of museums and local villages to see. One of the museums in Ayia Napa is the Thalassa Municipal Museum. The Thalassa Municipal Museum shows the local cultural substructure of the town and has been opened since 2005. The museum mostly focuses on how the sea has shaped the history of the island. The villages are a little outside Ayia Napa and are farming villages. These villages normally are built around the church. There are good boutiques for shopping and restaurants. One of the villages, Deryneia, is famous for producing strawberries and in May there is a strawberry festival.

We are very excited to go to a beach town for the weekend and experience a different town in Cyprus. The nice thing about Cyprus is everything is around 45 minutes to an hour away from where we live in Nicosia. We are trying to experience and go to as many places we can on the weekends since we only have five weeks left in Cyprus.

*Pictures to come soon of the interns in Ayia Napa*

Limassol

 

Limassol is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus. Historical archeological tourist destinations such as the Limassol Castle, the Cyprus Medieval Museum, and the Limassol Archaeological Museum, exhibiting artifacts such as pottery and tombstones from the Neolithic to the Roman periods attract tourists from all over the world. Adding to the artistic culture of the city is the Prokymea Sculpture Park on the seafront of Limassol, including sculptures by Cypriot, Greek and international artists. In addition, the collection of beaches with crystal clear mediterranean water are breathtaking.

These unique pieces of Cypriot culture that compose Limassol are exactly what attracted us to visit Limassol two weeks ago. Only an hour and a half bus ride from Nicosia, we arrived in Limassol for a weekend getaway. The soaring temperatures reaching 100 degrees did not stop us from enjoying the sun, sand, and refreshing sea water. Furthermore, we explored the city center of Limassol which housed a variety of traditional and modern restaurants, shops, and hotels. Julia, Caroline, Carolina and I stayed in a hostel in downtown Limassol due to its proximity to the beaches and affordable pricing. Although this was a very different experience from an ordinary hotel, we were able to meet and share our experiences with other travelers from all over the world. In addition, we were welcomed with open arms by the kind hostel hosts. Our stay was brief in Limassol but accessibility from the public bus station makes it a definite option for future day trips to soak up the sun and also absorb the rich culture of Cypriot history and tradition.

Paphos

 

As we explore the island, we are very excited to visit Paphos. Located on western Cyprus, Paphos is known as the birthplace of the Greek Goddess of love and beauty Aphodite. According to the legend Aphodite rose from the waves and was escorted on a shell to this particular beach on the southwest coast of the Paphos district. There are huge rocks along the coastlines marking Aphrodite´s birthplace. Visiting Aphrodite´s rock is high on our bucket list, as the legend says that swimming around the rock three times will bring eternal youth, beauty and love. Another item on our Paphos bucket list is visiting the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park. Locals have recommended us spending most of our time in the museum walking around the Villa of Theseus. A large ancient villa known for its impressive ruins, exquisite mosaics and beautiful columns.

 

Caroline Murray ’21, International Business and Spanish Minor, speaks on the food in Cyprus.

Cyprus rests in the middle of the Mediterranean, so it hosts a variety of interesting cuisines that combine flavors from all over the world.  Of course, Greek tradition influences a fair amount of their cooking and includes traditional meals such as greek salads, gyros and souvlaki. Since coming to Nicosia we have been fortunate enough to try many different kinds of foods. One night we visited a restaurant called Zanettos, which serves its dishes in a tapas style but with a twist. The meal selections were anything but small, and we had plenty of leftovers after trying everything that was put in front of us. Some of our favorite dishes were the halloumi and the stuffed grape leaves. Halloumi is a commonly used cheese in Cyprus, but it has become increasingly more popular around the world for its unique attributes. It has the ability to withstand extreme temperatures and is easily fried without melting. The stuffed grape leaves, also known as koupepia, are stuffed with various vegetables for extra flavor. While visiting Limassol we also tried some amazing gyro, which is made fresh daily and seasoned with various mediterranean spices. Another important part of the Cypriot diet is fish because of their close proximity to the ocean. No matter which part of the country you are in, it is no more than a two-hour drive to the ocean. Every restaurant that we have found ourselves in has some sort of fish entree on the menu and it is guaranteed fresh. We are excited to keep exploring the eclectic cuisine that Cyprus hosts and learn more about the origins of their cooking.  

Cyprus Interns Continue their Learning of International Business and Customs

Julia Freund ’20, International Business and Ethnic Studies, wrote about the work environment at Famous Sports.

The work environment is relaxed compared to other internships one might have in the U.S. The more- casual atmosphere comes from Famous Sports being a sports company. The office Marie and I work at has three showrooms with the new seasons of clothing and shoes from many different brands, such as Champion, Reebok, Adidas, and more. There are always clients coming into the office to see the new seasons from the brands and it is important to dress sporty since they are trying to sell sports clothing. Company members dress in a sports/casual way, but this relaxed outlook does not affect the seriousness and hard work that their employees put into their jobs and the company. There is a lot of collaboration and communication by the employees to work together and unlike some company’s in the U.S. There is no such thing as Slack or any other way of communicating via technology. There are two offices that are across the street from each other, but instead of just communicating over their computers, they always walk back and forth from one office to the other. If it is a basic question they will call instead of walk, but this is different compared to the U.S. sometimes in offices one might never see company employees talking to one another. This setting has made it very easy or Marie and I to get to know our co-workers and boss and has been an easy transition for us coming to a new company and foreign place. Thank you to SIBC, Frank Potenziani, and M&T Trust for this once in a lifetime opportunity. We cannot wait to see what the next month and a half has for us!

 

Carolina Lemmen Meyer ’19, International Business and a Political Science Minor, and Caroline Murray ’21, International Business and Spanish Minor, speak about the work environment at Socialway eServices as well as an event the company had last week.

This past week as interns for SocialWay eServices Ltd., we were fortunate enough to attend a launch event for Astro Bank Cyprus. Astro Bank has a strong presence within Cyprus and was an essential part of helping with the rebuilding of their economy after the economic crisis. The event was very enlightening and allowed us to witness the ins and outs of media marketing. We sat in the press room and learned how to upload promotional social media, while simultaneously watching the event proceedings. Likewise, this was an important event and even the President of Cyprus attended to give thanks to Astro Bank for their efforts to help the Cyprus economy. During the presentation, there was a strict schedule that was developed before the event and had to be followed down to the very minute. There were various posts that needed to be completed, including some on Instagram and Facebook as well as a live stream of the event. We learned how to launch Facebook campaigns and strategically target audiences that would be interested in watching ad posts from the event. Socialway partnered with a marketing company that dealt with the organizational aspects of the event, and we also got the chance to work closely with them in the press room. After the press event we all went to get dinner at Zanettos, a tavern in old Nicosia that is famous for their authentic Cypriot food. The owner of the restaurant was one of Socialway eServices’s oldest clients, so we were warmly greeted and sat at a big table on the terrace. Our waitress was a nice lady that was determined to make us try all of their traditional dishes, so she kept sending lots of food our way. It was a great opportunity to get to know our coworkers better and they were excited to share their culture with us. After getting to know each other better during the press event and our dinner afterwards, our coworkers have been happily addressing all of our questions and asking us about the states as well. We have been getting lunch together and even our boss joins us when he has the time. While at the office, we are taking courses in order to get certified as Facebook business professionals. This entails learning how to properly advertise to various demographics throughout Facebook and Instagram as well as create various ad campaigns for clients. Our coworkers have allowed us to help in the creation of their campaigns and it has been extremely helpful to actually apply the knowledge that we have gained to something concrete. We have also been introduced to the basics of google analytics by one of our coworkers that is a certified expert. He is working on a campaign for one of Cyprus’ largest electronic retailers and has been walking us through the steps of evaluating their digital assets. We are planning on taking our Facebook certification exam during this upcoming week and are excited to see all of the progress that we have made throughout the past few weeks.

 

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Marie Lawson ’21, International Business and Marketing, writes about the culture in Cyprus.

 Over the past three weeks we have been able to gain an understanding for Cyprus culture and learn about the various aspects of it. In terms of attitudes, the Cypriots possess a very laid-back culture that values family life and relaxing from the stresses of work. Likewise, they are very hard-working individuals and are focused on boosting their national economy by acquiring foreign business. Cyprus has become a very attractive location for international businesses to locate their headquarters due to various tax write offs and its proximity to Europe and the Middle East. The unique culture of Cyprus is evident in the rural villages, modern cities, and variety of architecture that spans across the island. Cyprus’ foundational Greek roots are supplemented by a spectrum of influence from countries such as Rome and Britain. For instance, the prehistoric settlements found in rural villages contain remnants of classical Greek temples, Roman theatres and villas, and British colonial-style buildings. The old and the new of Cyprus are intertwined with the preservation of old ways of life in the villages and the progressive nature of modern technology in the larger cities, such as Nicosia and Limassol. Cyprus embraces the SIBC mindset of “peace through commerce” through the integration of international business into the traditional nature of island life. Cypriots welcome tourists and outsiders with open arms through the establishment of international relations with major corporations such as Famous Sports or through smaller privately-owned businesses. No matter where one travels to in Cyprus, pieces from past historical influences can be seen in action with modern Cypriot culture, which makes Cyprus one of a kind.

SIBC Cyprus Interns Learn International Business and Customs

For this week’s blog post, the interns decided to share how they are settling in to their positions in Cyprus. They would like to thank Frank Potenziani and M&T Trust for the opportunity to spend two months this summer in Cyprus, for an experience of a lifetime.

Julia Freund ’20, International Business and Ethnic Studies, shares their exploration of the Old City in Nicosia.

Two weeks ago, was our first weekend in Cyprus. We were still a little tired and jet-lagged from the 16+ hours of traveling, so we decided to stay within Nicosia and explore Old Nicosia. Old Nicosia is around a 20 minutes away from our apartment by bus. The Old City shows the history and culture of Nicosia, which is Lefkosia in Greek. The architecture and feudal streets makes one feel like they are in a different city and time than Nicosia. Within the Old City, we walked along the street called Ledra, which has a lot of boutiques and cafes. At the end of Ledra, there is the UN Buffer Zone that separates the Republic of Cyprus and the part that is occupied by Turkey. We walked by the Church of Panagia Faneromeni, which is the largest church within Nicosia as well as an area called Laiki Geitonia, which has many souvenir shops and cafes. It was a gorgeous morning for exploring Old Nicosia as the temperature was in the high 80s and sunny until the afternoon when it was raining. At the time that was the typical weather that we were experiencing; sunny and warm in the morning and then around 1pm it would rain/thunderstorm for a couple of hours. This was the first time all of us were able to get to know one another better since we did not know much about each other before on this exciting adventure.

Below are some pictures from our day at Old Nicosia.

Marie Lawson ’19, International Business and Marketing, shares insight on their Internship at Famous Sports.

The introduction to our digital marketing internship at Famous Sports in Cyprus has been

an exciting initiative for Julia and I. Famous Sports’ website is celebrating its fifth year. They also host an athletic apparel store situated on the ground level of our office building. Famous Sports represents a spectrum of brands such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Roxy, and Quiksilver. The environment of the company has been relaxed and welcoming from our first day on the job. We have met Sophie Papakyriakou, the aunt of SIBC member Sophia Panayides, Lena Constantinidou, the e-Commerce Assistant for Famous Sports, and Theodoros Charalambous, the e-Commerce Manager of Famous Sports. Julia and I share an office space with Lena and Theodoros, so we are beginning to build our professional network. As far as our tasks as digital marketing interns, we have been introduced to the website database and have been involved in preparing the website for the winter season products. Julia and I have added product descriptions, done research on possible product imaging, and have dove into the backend of the website. In addition, we have been granted access to the Famous Sports Google Analytics account in order to understand the present marketing initiatives and customer interaction. Furthermore, Julia and I have been progressively creating mock logos for the 5-year anniversary of the Famous Sports e-Shop. We are incredibly excited for what the continuation of the internship has in store.

Below is a picture of our office building. We work above one of the many stores Famous Sports has around Cyprus.

Carolina Lemmen Meyer ’19, International Business and a Political Science Minor, provides some information on her and Caroline Murray’s internship at Socialway eServices.

It has been a week since Caroline and I started to intern for Socialway eServices, a full service Digital Marketing Agency based in Cyprus capital Nicosia. The team has been very nice and welcoming, making it easy for us to ask questions and get more involved. We spend the first day arranging immigration permits, the company had write a letter stating that they were employing unpaid interns from abroad. Luckily, our visit to the immigration office went smoothly. Back in the office, our boss introduced us to Facebook Marketing and taught us the basics of creating advertising campaigns for Facebook and Instagram. We made it our goal for the first two weeks to learn how to use Facebook advertising tools. Thus, we spent most of the week taking online courses on Facebook for Business. The team wants us to learn from practice, so whenever they created new Facebook campaigns they showed us their work and guided us through the process. We performed small tasks such as running errands, planning Instagram posts for the launch of a client´s Instagram business account and writing Facebook posts promoting the latest web developments by Socialway eServices. On Friday, one of the client´s was shooting a testimonial video to advertise their beauty products, we were invited to assist and observe the making of the video. It has been a great first week,  and after work we like to walk around the city looking for new places to visit and explore.

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Caroline Murray ’21, International Business and Spanish Minor, speaks about this past weekend exploring Limossol, another city in Cyprus.

Over the past weekend we were able to travel a bit around Cyprus and so we decided to go to Limassol. Limassol is a beach town located in the southern part of the country and is known for its beauty. We began our journey by taking the hour and a half bus ride from Nicosia to Limassol, which allowed us to take in the Cyprus countryside. When we arrived at Limassol we headed to straight to the beach and were greeted with crystal clear waters and black sand. During a Cyprus summer, temperatures usually hover around 90° F and so we made sure to put on quite a bit of sunscreen. The beaches were filled with local families and everyone made sure to take advantage of the summer day. The beach was lined with small restaurants that served refreshing juices and various Cypriot cuisines, so we made sure to try a bit of everything.  Later on, throughout the weekend, we visited the famous Limassol Marina and ate an amazing, authentic Greek meal while overlooking the ships come in. Likewise, we visited the Limassol castle and saw the amazing ruins that highlighted the traditional architecture that Cyprus is known for. The ancient walls were surrounded by colorful streets and we passed by many locals making their way through the narrow alleyways on their mopeds. Overall, we had a nice and relaxing weekend down in the south and can’t wait to keep on exploring!

Below are some pictures from Limossol.

 

 

An Opportunity for International Travel in Crete (Part III)

Part III: Cuisine

Written by Alex Cooley

 

The food in Greece was delicious. From Gyros’ to Frappe’s we experienced all the native Greek foods. When choosing where to eat, we would often walk around an area looking at menus and pictures of the food until we all found one we thought looked good. The pricing strategy of the food in Greece is very interesting. Each restaurant had within a Euro of the same prices as the surrounding restaurants. This made it more difficult to pick restaurants, as the pricing frankly never had a large effect on the decision.

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In Athens, we experienced restaurants right on a square to a rooftop restaurant in the streets of Plaka—an older part of Athens where the Acropolis is located. One food that we tried in Athens was Moussaka, a type of lasagna dish without noodles. Another very popular food that was at just about every restaurant was Souvlaki which was meet on a skewer. This dish is similar to Gyros, another traditional Greek dish, but is served without pita bread. One aspect that was interesting to the group was that Souvlaki was more common than Gyros at restaurants, even though it seems like in America Gyros are more popularly known as the most traditional Greek food. When ordering Gyros in Greece it was clear that America has created their own versions of them. The Gyros in Greece were not always serves with Tzatziki sauce, nor always wrapped in pita bread, how many American places serve them.  

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Crete had very similar food places compared to Athens. There were cafes on the town square and restaurants in the winding streets. In the square we tried the local crepes, which were good and inexpensive. In American restaurants the price for a crepe is often up to nine dollars, however even in the central square the price was only around three Euros. While life in Greece is inexpensive compared to America, it is obvious that the Greeks make less of a margin on their food sales compared to Americans. When wandering the back streets, more away from the city center, we found a couple restaurants that branched out with their menu. The menus had truffle infused risottos to fresh mozzarella on brick oven made pizzas. While some of these foods were not traditional Greek foods, they were still very inexpensive in comparison to what they could be marketed for in America.

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There is a huge business market in the restaurant industry. It was extremely interesting to be able to compare the prices of the different types of foods and realize the different margins that businesses make on food. Another interesting aspect of the food market in Greece, is the olive oil market. The factory owner that produces olive oil told the group that to make one liter of olive oil costs around two Euros and seventy cents to make. In store, half a liter can be sold for up to thirty dollars in America. While there are tariffs and shipping costs, it is evident that the profit margin on olive oil is very large.

An opportunity for International Travel in Crete (Part II)

Part II: Your Guide to Exploring Athens and Crete

written by Kristen Kuang

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LOCATION: ATHENS


Plaka and Surrounding neighborhood

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Located at the bottom of the Acropolis, Plaka is Athens’ oldest district and a prime tourist location for tourists today. Along these charming streets, there are multiple cafes and shops to choose from. Along with shopping and dining, there are also various historical sites and churches you can visit hidden within the streets of pastel colored houses. However, be sure you have a map on hand, because it is quite easy to get lost maneuvering around.

The Acropolis

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The main tourist attraction in Athens. Learn about the history of the Greek Gods and how the Greeks built the Parthenon. It was very impressive to see what the Greeks were able to build given the limited access of technology during their time. The view from very top of the Acropolis also serves as a scenic photo shoot background. You’ll be surprised at how surreal this structure is in person. Try to get there right as it opens (8am) to beat the crowds and the heat of the sun! Reduced admission prices if you bring your student ID!

Agora

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What use to be the central hub of ancient Athens is now for visitors. Learn about where the ancient Greeks used to gather to discuss politics, government, and conducted business.

 

LOCATION: CRETE

Eleftherias Square (Downtown Heraklion)

Similar to the Plaka in Athens, this is also considered the central hub in Heraklion, Crete. Numerous shops, boutiques, markets and cafes fill the streets. Our group had fun visiting the different ships and exploring the numerous locally made products. They also have the best gelato in town!

Koules Fortress/Venetian harbor

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Leaving Eleftherias Square, towards the harbor, is the Koules Fortress. Built by the Republic of Venice in the early 16th century, the fortress is restored for visitors to explore. Along with the impressive history of this fortress, it also serves as a great location for pictures and offers a fantastic view of the Aegean Sea and the Venetian Harbor.

Palace of Knossos

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This legendary residence of King Minos has been restored and is a prime attraction in Crete today. We enjoyed roaming around what remains of the palace. We also gained firsthand experience of the Greek art and architecture. Reduced admission with your student ID! 

Agia Pelagia

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Need some time to relax? This small beach town in located approximately thirty minutes east of Eleftherias Square. Perfect for catching some sun or a quick dip in the Aegean Sea. A short trail at the end of the beach takes you out onto a cliff that overlooks the Aegean Sea. This is one our our personal favorite destinations. Highly recommended!

 

By visiting all these places, we were able to immerse ourselves into the Greek culture. It is important to learn about other cultures to gain better understanding in order to conduct better business strategies and connect with your potential clients on a personal level. By doing so, we are able to gain insight and implement SIBC’s model of peace through commerce.

 

An Opportunity for International Travel in Crete (Part I)

Part I: An Overview of the Trip

Written by Mary Pat Abruzzo. 

 

Over this past semester my fellow SIBC members and I had the amazing opportunity to work on a project for Mike Sisois and his father Mikes Sisois, who are attempting to start their Sisois Family Olive Oil business and bring it to the U.S. market. After many months of hard work and research, a few of our project team members including myself were chosen to be on the traveling team to present in Crete, Greece, where the Sisios Family Olive Oil Grove is located.


First, we traveled to Athens where we had full days, wandering the streets of Plaka, exploring the Parthenon and eating a gyro or two. Out next stop was in Crete, where the Sisois Family olive grove is located. In the morning, we met Mike Sisois and his father Mikes Sisois to give our presentation. Our presentation included a market analysis to help their small family business branch out to the U.S. market and suggested timeline on a plan for the Sisois Family Olive Oil. This presentation was an amazing way to learn the steps and barriers of starting a new business. It allowed us to gain real world experience in seeing how a small business could expand into the U.S. market.


After the presentation Mike Sisois and his father brought us to their family friend’s house, where we experienced Greek hospitality at its finest, we were served endless cookies, nuts and dates. Next we went to the Olive Oil pressing factory where we walked through every step of making olive oil, from the point where the olives reach the factory to the barrels where the oil is stored. We ended the tour with an olive oil tasting, where they took a pitcher of fresh olive oil directly from the barrels and poured it over fresh bread. This was the freshest olive oil I have ever tasted. It wouldn’t be a proper olive oil tasting without homemade dalos, cheese and olives on the side.


Next we were given a tour of the Sisois Olive Oil Grove, a small grove with a view of the coast of Crete. We learned the process of olive tree harvest and maintenance. If we weren’t already full from the olive oil tasting, we were given more fruit and pastries at the grove. If there if one thing I learned on this trip, it is that Greek hospitality is unlike anything I have experienced! We were welcomed to Greece with open arms and lots of food. Overall, this trip was an amazing way to experience Greek culture through business. I was able to experience firsthand the care of a small family business and meet the people who made a quality product. It was an honor to work with the Sisois family and learn about not only process of making oil olive but about the Greek culture. They were able to open their homes to
us and allow us to have experience Greek culture through family, friends and of course olive oil.

An opporunity for International Travel in Crete (Intro)

First, SIBC would like to thank alumnus Michael Sisois '04 for the project and M&T Trust and Frank Potenziani so our members have the ability and opportunities to travel . 4 members were chosen to travel to Crete, Greece to give a marketing presentation to Sisois Family Olive Grove in Crete. The prompt for the project can be found here (at the bottom of the page). As well as giving a marketing presentation to the Sisois Family in Crete, the members were also able to travel to Athens.

The members chosen to present were Mary Pat Abruzzo, Alex Cooley, Kristen Kuang, and Addie Hardten. Each of the respective members wrote a blog post about certain aspects of Crete. They will be posted in four parts. 

Intro

Written by Addie Hardten

Last week, four students from the USD Student International Business Council (SIBC) traveled to Greece for an amazing business opportunity. These students, Mary Pat Abruzzo (So.), Alex Cooley (So.), Addie Hardten (Fr.), and Kirsten Kuang (Fr.), worked among a team of other SIBC members throughout the semester on a market analysis project for an Olive Oil company in Crete. This company produces high-quality extra-virgin olive oil; it is family owned and run, having been managed as a family hobby for several years, but is now looking to become a profitable brand. These students were all faced with the challenge to conduct a market analysis of the olive oil industry and come up with helpful proposals of key components and considerations for building this company from the ground up.


4 students from the project team, through the support of the SIBC sponsors, were able to travel all the way to beautiful Greece for their project presentation as well as a tour of the grove sights. Not only were these students able to gain valuable business experience and knowledge, but they were able to take advantage of the culture and international exposure this trip provided.


Through the SIBC and the knowledge these students have gained throughout the business school, they were able to take their learning and experience outside of USD and outside of the U.S. to an international setting in which they gained real world, valuable experience.

 

Pictures from the trip can be found here.