Every semester, the X-Culture Competition challenges thousands of students and professionals around the world to work together on business projects presented by corporate partners. This year, seven students from UD’s Lerner College placed among the top 40 best reports, out of more than 5,000 students and 1,000 teams.
Among these students was Jenna von Bradsky, who has a major in economics with a concentration in applied economics and a minor in international business studies. Her team was also ranked the Best Report created for the company S-Cape, a Ukraine-based clothing company.
Read on for a Q&A with von Bradsky to learn more about her experiences with UD and the X-Culture competition, her future career with Morgan Stanley and more:
Q: Can you describe your experience with the X-Culture competition?
A: I was very lucky with my X-Culture group assignment in that each member was able to contribute significantly, and when some people were busier than others, it was understood that he/she would be able to dedicate more time to the project at a later date. In addition to that, two of my group members actually attended the same university in Italy, which helped because they were able to meet face-to-face several times throughout the semester, while our fourth group member and I contributed remotely. We communicated mostly through WhatsApp on a nearly every other day basis, Skyped where necessary, and used Microsoft OneDrive for our collaborative works.
This was a very rewarding experience to have had this semester, as I learned first-hand about working with people from across the globe, managing different time zones, language barriers, as well as general cultural differences. We read so much about what it’s supposed to be like working internationally via textbooks and case studies, but today, as so many corporations expand their operations abroad, previous collaboration with others from different backgrounds isn’t just helpful – it’s vital. X-Culture gave me such an experience that very few students can say they have had prior to graduation.
Q: What were your strategies for success? How did your studies at UD help you to prepare?
A: Our team broke down the project via informal deadlines and division of labor by topic. In splitting up the work amongst ourselves, every time we took on a task or research, my group decided on a date (one that landed before any X-Culture deadlines) to aim to have our tasks done – on those days, we regrouped and assessed the work that had been done at that point. Dividing up the research by topic also made each of us a “subject matter expert” of sorts, rather than each group member scratching the surface on all research topics.
Most students do not have any sort of affinity for group projects; they force us to work with people we may not know, people who may not be willing to put in as much effort as others, or people who might try to dominate the entire assignment. But, it cannot be denied that these projects prepare us for the future. With this course not being the first international business studies course I have taken thus far, a combination of past group projects and other courses I had taken up until then helped me to prepare for this project.
Q: How did it feel to receive high placement and win the Best Report for S-Cape reward?
A: It was such a pleasant surprise receiving the award! It absolutely felt like my semester’s hard work had come to fruition and that the research, writing and analysis that my team had done paid off completely. I remember reading our final report for X-Culture and realizing just how thoughtful, impressive and detailed our paper was; it was clear to me, and evidently others, that our final product was exceptional.
Q: What are your career aspirations for the future?
A: This past summer I interned in the internal audit division at Morgan Stanley and received two offers from the firm to return full-time starting next summer: one from audit, and one from human resources, as I had expressed an interest in the latter to my recruiters and, luckily, scored an interview. In July of 2019, I will start full-time as an analyst in HR at Morgan Stanley in NYC, and I could not be more thrilled!