The recent recipient of an international award for teaching, Dominican’s Dr. Rajeev Sooreea is developing more opportunities to engage his business students through his research. This fall he plans to involve his undergraduate and graduate students in studies focused on developing a national framework for innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa.
This summer, Sooreea, who has been named the new Associate Dean of the Barowsky School of Business, and his MBA students excelled in the virtual X-Culture business consulting competition. The competition was the culmination of Sooreea’s spring semester “Managing Across Cultures” in which MBA students learned to approach and manage cross-cultural interactions in global business, while gaining first-hand insight into the challenges and best practices of international business consulting.
Throughout the semester, the students interacted with expatriates and professionals in the U.S. and abroad virtually, through a combination of webinars, live chats, and various social media platforms.
“The MBA students were exposed to new value systems, new patterns of communication and negotiation, conflict management, risk-taking attitudes, and diversity management,” says Sooreea, who doubles as Associate Professor of International Business at Dominican.
“By working with students and professionals from various cultures across the world on semester-long projects, our students had to deal with situations that challenged their assumptions. On a weekly basis, I could see how their cultural intelligence evolved.”
The course prepared the students well for the X-Culture competition, in which they collaborated with international students in a competition that consisted of more than 3,000 students from 148 universities worldwide.
The Dominican students collaborated with students from Azerbaijan, Brazil, China, Estonia, France, Ghana, Grenada, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. Sample projects included consulting for a chocolate confectionary in Ghana, a sports company in Italy, a time-sharing platform in Brazil, a health-tech company in Italy, and a cultural education company in the U.S.
Thanks to his team’s performance, Sooreea received the competition’s “Best Professor Award.” The award was based on student ratings in terms of effort, intellectual contribution, collegiality, as well as the personal share of the work completed by the students in the total work completed by their teams.
“To a large extent, this award goes to the best class/university, rather than an individual instructor,” Dr. Sooreea says. “This award really came in as a pleasant surprise. Some of the student projects in my class were outstanding.”
During the 2019-2020 academic year, Sooreea will continue to involve his students with assessments of the business climate in emerging markets. Past assignments have involved students reviewing government documents and several key channels, including business incubators and investment promotion agencies, to explore investment and entrepreneurial opportunities in the Republic of Mauritius.
Sooreea’s past courses include Leader Driven Strategic Planning, Emerging Markets and International Competitiveness, Global Business Strategy, Managerial Economics, and Global Business Environment.