Learning Beyond Borders

PROVO, Utah – Apr 29, 2021 – BYU’s motto—the world is our campus—is embodied by a team of students participating in the InternationalHub at the BYU Marriott School of Business. These students hosted the Beyond Borders case competition in March 2021, an event that virtually brought together more than two hundred participants from twelve countries to find new diversity and inclusion solutions.

The InternationalHub (iHub) is a group of students and professors who create multimedia content focused on international business principles. Events such as the Beyond Border competition help the group educate others. “iHub is a student-led initiative to help people gain a global mindset,” says Shad Morris, a BYU Marriott associate professor of organizational behavior and human resources who works with the students in iHub. “The material students create teaches how to interact in a global world and break down barriers across cultures to communicate more openly.”

Students wanted to design a case competition to teach these principles, but they weren’t sure how to make their vision a reality. “I'd never planned a competition before. I had no idea how much work went into planning one, especially our first one,” says Taylee Harker, an experience design and management major from Pasco, Washington, who is the events manager for iHub. “That process was uncharted territory.”

The events team, a group of students within iHub, put together the competition with the help of Cherise Mendoza, a friend of BYU Marriott who currently works for Microsoft as global senior talent director. Mendoza and iHub worked with the Whitmore Global Business Center (GBC) at BYU Marriott to design a case focused on diversity and inclusion strategies for the future.

As students planned the competition, they knew that they wanted to reach beyond BYU Marriott to provide learning opportunities for students from other schools. “The Centers for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) grants that BYU Marriott has received assist the school in reaching out and increasing international business opportunities for others,” says Jonathon Wood, managing director of the GBC. “This competition is a way to expand access to international business education.”

The students in iHub reached out to invite other schools to participate. “This competition has grown so much from where we started. My team and I were naïve at the beginning thinking that we could write a case in a month and put the competition together in another month,” says Harker. “We have shifted so many times during the six months of preparation, but the competition has become better than we imagined at the beginning.”

Students were also able to call upon the BYU Marriott alumni network to judge the competition. Individuals from companies such as Adobe, Honeywell, Korn Ferry, and PwC gathered virtually to watch teams’ presentations on their diversity and inclusion strategies and to assign scores. At the end of the competition, a team of students from the University of Toronto Scarborough won the first-place prize of six thousand dollars. Student teams from BYU Marriott won second and third place.

The iHub events team looks forward to future events that will invite students all over the world to learn business lessons. “The most rewarding parts of the competition was seeing the diversity and inclusion solutions that teams presented to judges,” says Maud Famina, a second-year MAcc student from Kinshasa, Congo who is part of the iHub events team. “This was just the first of many iHub events that will bring people with diverse backgrounds, thinking, races, religions, and locations together to find solutions to a common problem.”

iHub students worked together to plan this kickoff event for the Beyond Borders Case Competition
iHub students worked together to plan this kickoff event for the Beyond Borders Case Competition. Photo courtesy of Taylee Harker

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kenna Pierce