Global Trade Mission Case Study at Oakland College

The Global Trade Mission (GTM) provides a unique experience for Oakland County High School students to participate in a simulated trade mission. Completing its thirteenth year, the partnership between Oakland Schools and Oakland Community College has provided over 2,800 students opportunities to learn about issues in global trade, cultural diversity, entrepreneurship and business and technology tools. GTM is an outstanding model of business, government, and education working together to address 21st century student skills.


Program Detail: 

Each year students engage in an intensive, three-day, hands-on virtual learning experience that simulates an entrepreneurial and business international trade mission. Through this extraordinary opportunity, awareness is created around exciting international careers in high-tech industries; many in the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.

Since 1998, Oakland Schools Global Trade Mission (GTM) has provided more than 2,800 high-school students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today’s dynamic world economy. GTM includes: 

  • Cleantech and Renewable Energy

  • Defense and Homeland Security

  • IT (Information Technology) & Cyber Security

  • Life Sciences and Medical Devices

  • Robotics and Automation

With collaboration from business, education, and government, working in cross-functional and cross-district teams of four (with dedicated business experts and coaches to guide them along the way), students are presented with a real-world case study on how to best market and sell a U.S. company’s product, service, or technology overseas based on the opportunities, challenges and unique characteristics of doing business in a particular country. This year’s GTM will focus on the following 5 regions with high projected demand for the technologies noted above: Africa, Asia, Australia/North America, Europe, and Latin America. 

Numerous decision-making factors come into play which compels students to think critically and learn how to quickly adapt to rapidly changing circumstances in the international marketplace. They include: local market demand; consumer tastes and cultural preferences; modes of entry and trade barriers; cost and quality; protection of intellectual property; trade finance; supply chain management; and legal considerations. Students will develop international business plans and strategies on how to overcome these common hurdles which companies typically face on a daily basis. At the conclusion of the three-day event, each student team will present their findings to a panel of business executives who will judge them on content, quality, originality and feasibility.

The overall mission of GTM is to create a pipeline of qualified young professionals whom are adept at problem solving which local companies can draw on in the future to enhance Michigan’s overall global competitiveness. It also aims to stimulate a spirit of entrepreneurship as Michigan’s economy shifts to higher-value added technologies and ensuring that our economy remains at the forefront of innovation. 

More information :

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