Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Our last business experience of the trip was a visit with Ms. Laura Spingola, the President of Trade Resources LTD, an international market development firm. She built her business through assisting companies in determining their import and export options. She graciously met us at our hotel to talk us through her experiences, providing photographs of past client projects and research reports she has created for companies.

Ms. Spingola typically takes on 12 companies at a time, working with a large number of freelance assistants and a handful of interns. She described how she built her business over 26 years, including the example of a candy company she networked with for about a year. After this company contracted her services, she researched expansion possibilities with Taiwan, Korea, and Japan, creating databases of potential buyers for their candies. This company was ultimately successful in Taiwan. She commented on the small number of US companies that get involved in exporting, sharing that the complexities of supply chain, taxes, and regulations are often deterrents. Providing a historical perspective on the changes in business over two decades, Ms. Spingola cited how technology has changed business methods. She encouraged us to continue to find ways to connect face to face, as this is an important part of establishing credibility in a business environment.

Following her presentation, we made a mad dash to change out of our business wear and into comfy clothes for the ride home. Our bus driver was luckily in the area, and amenable to picking us up early. We reconvened with the Arts & Culture trip for the ride home, with a stop in Lafayette for dinner.

Tomorrow is our IUBeginnings Celebration in Fine Arts 015, starting at 3:00pm. While I know we are all glad to be getting back to Bloomington, it will be good to reconnect tomorrow to reflect on this amazing experience.

Thanks for a great trip…I’ll see you in the bschool!

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