This university has one of the most highly esteemed business schools in the world. However, during their accreditation review, administrators realized they didn’t have a tangible means to assess and develop intercultural competence and global skills among their students. They understood the importance of allowing faculty to have autonomy in how they address this competency in their respective courses. The Cultural Intelligence Center worked with the administration to develop a leadership program that would involve every undergraduate student in the business school.
The Cultural Intelligence Center worked with the business school to develop interventions that would integrate with existing curriculum and programs. The program was designed as follows:
1st Year Students: Personal Identity
Students begin the program during their second year of university. The emphasis in this first year of the three-year cultural intelligence program is focused on helping the student understanding one’s own cultural identity.
- Students take the CQ Assessment and receive a debrief session of what their results mean.
- Students create a personal CQ Development Plan that is focused on using their next year of studies and experiences to improve their CQ.
- Students are challenged to identify 3-5 classmates who come from different cultural backgrounds and are given a leadership challenge to work on together.
2nd Year Students: Integrate and Apply CQ
- Students are required to do some type of Intercultural immersion (study abroad, internship, etc.)
- Students draw upon their CQ Assessment results to prepare for their immersion experiences
- Students write an after-action report to transfer learning from the experience to future goals
3rd Year Students: CQ for Work
During the final year of the program, students are encouraged to primarily focus on how they need to apply their cultural intelligence to the interviewing process and to their first job experiences after graduation.
- Students take the CQ Assessment again
- Students go through a debrief session focused on CQ for work
- Students create a CQ Action Plan focused on preparation for interviews, future studies, etc.
At the time of writing, the business school is in the second year with the first group of students going through this program. Revisions continue to be made but initial results are promising. Students are highly engaged in the program and a greater degree of assimilation has occurred between students from different cultural backgrounds. Career service counselors report that students are better able to articulate the connection between their study abroad experiences and the kinds of jobs they hope to find after graduation.