International Business Projects
The close cooperation with companies enables our students to work on practical international management solutions.
A particular strength of the academic programs offered by ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) is the opportunity for students to closely interact with companies and organizations. Supporting businesses in their international activities and supporting students in acquiring international business and intercultural skills are two important goals of the Department International Business and the International Management Institute.
We are actively seeking companies and organizations that would like to work together with us. As part of their coursework, students from our BSc International Management and MSc International Business programs examine the international business challenges and develop tailored recommendations and solutions.
Exemplary students' tasks can include an analysis of the environment, primary and secondary market research, development of alternative solutions and recommendations.
- International Business Development: An evaluation of market opportunities and recommendation for market entry strategy and implementation.
- International Marketing: Brand positioning and international marketing mix issues such as distribution or pricing.
- International market intelligence and customer behavior for innovation opportunities.
- Transformation of international business models: Knowledge and Change Management.
- Sustainable and responsible business models: An evaluation and implementation of sustainability strategies.
The results can include a conceptual solution, strategic analysis, business or implementation plan, depending on the defined project scope and level of complexity. Under the supervision of a faculty coach, the solutions include the application of the latest management theories and concepts as well as follow methodological and structured approaches. All communication and project presentation will be in English.
Company input usually consists of a kick-off meeting, one meeting to confirm the interim status and clarify any issues, as well as attendance at the final presentation. Upon completing the project, the company partner receives a proposed solution in the form of a final business report (elaborated by the students) and a presentation in English.
The International Management Institute focuses on the effects of globalization and the challenges affecting international business activities. In addressing these issues, we rely on intercultural competence and business expertise, supported by many years of research and the practical experience of our lecturers and staff. In our activities, we also benefit from the close ties we have established over time with international organizations, corporations, and professional associations.
“We had the pleasure to conduct a very interesting case study together with a group of MSc IM students. The complexity of the project was that they first had to understand the dynamics and core processes of one of our main business pillars and suggest an extension into a new strategic field. It was remarkable how quickly the students grasped the basics of our business and how they were able to translate it into a thoroughly structured implementation project giving several recommendations to our Senior Management. The analysis of the students brought new insights and perspectives into this business case in a scientifically grounded but also practically applicable way and challenged the ideas and thoughts we had about it. Besides their quick thinking and enthusiasm for the topic, we were impressed by the students’ very professional but also pleasant way of working. We appreciate the great effort they all put into this project in such short time and absolutely recommend working together with ZHAW!”
Alexander Lanaras, Senior Business Development Manager, Bucherer AG (MSC business project FS 2023)
“As a Marketing Manager with extensive experience in various industries, I know from experience that collaborating with top educational institutions is key to developing innovative ideas. Within the scope of an international business project, the students from ZHAW demonstrated the importance of approaching ideas from different perspectives without bias in order to develop innovative solutions. I am thrilled about working with ZHAW and look forward to initiating new projects together in the future and setting new standards.”
Carmen Keller, Marketing and Communication Manager DACH, Spitch AG (MSc business project FS 2023)
“The project/business case carried out by students at ZHAW University was a remarkable demonstration of their technical skills, knowledge and dedication to excellence. Throughout the project, the students demonstrated their ability to work collaboratively, conduct rigorous and detailed research, and develop pragmatical recommendations. Their passion for the subject matter was evident, and they consistently produced high-quality work. Overall, we believe that the students at ZHAW University have demonstrated a great level of excellence resulting in a detailed final report. We have no doubt that they will continue to make significant contributions to their field in the years to come and we would be delighted to collaborate again together on a future project.”
David Feteke, Head of International Sales, Kuhn Rikon (BSC business project HS 2022)
“We have had the pleasure of working with ZHAW on several projects in the past and have always been impressed by their professionalism, expertise, and enthusiasm. Recently, we collaborated with BSc IM students on a market segmentation and deep-dive analysis project. Their insights and recommendations have provided valuable input to the development of our business strategy, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with ZHAW”.
Uwe Placzek, Co-Founder ScanSoles (BSC business project HS 2022)
“We have been extremely pleased with the outcome of the project done in cooperation with the BSc IM students of ZHAW. As a start-up company, we had been looking for the most efficient manner to gain market insights on the product that we are developing and the work provided by the group which worked with us has been outstanding and is being used to develop the long term business plan of the company. The ZHAW staff has been instrumental in this success by accompanying the students during the project. We are definitively looking forward for the next project with ZHAW students”.
Philippe Mendels-Flandre, CEO & co-founder, AUSTRAL Dx, France (MSc business project, FS 2022)
“It is really remarkable what a group of motivated students can achieve within a few weeks. The task that had to be completed was very complex and required a lot of commitment to the topic. For us as a young company in a challenging market environment, it is important to develop constantly, and to question the existing, and that is precisely why we always work together with students from the ZHAW School of Management and Law.”
(MSc business project FS 2023)
“The renewed collaboration with the students of the ZHAW has once again taken us a step further as a family-run start-up. We were able to take away many points from the detailed analysis and conclusions of the study group, which serve us as a basis for the development of internal measures in the run-up to the internationalization of our company. We were impressed by the students' approach to a business case in a highly complex environment and are convinced that working with students is the right way to go in the future. We are already looking forward to further cooperation and next project work!”
(MSc business project, FS 2022)
“The cooperation with the BSc IM students of the ZHAW SML offers us, as a family-run start-up, an enormous added value. The documents and recommendations for action developed for the internationalization of our entrepreneurial activities support us in the development of measures to increase the company's growth. In addition, we gain insight into a new perspective on our company through the students of the ZHAW, and can thus generate inputs for the optimization of our existing structures.”
Marco Hoffmann, CEO of SWISS Gate Ltd., Bachenbülach/Switzerland (BSc business project, HS 2021)
“Collaborating with ZHAW SML students on their international business projects is always very rewarding for us. Not only were we presented with very useful recommendations, both short- and long term. The students, furthermore, went out of their way to deliver a thorough market analysis that we can use for future marketing activities.”
Martin Schaefer, Head of International Medical Coordination at Genolier Patient Services (MSc business project, HS 2020)
“A thoroughly researched and realistic market entry strategy was developed that will be implemented into our midterm strategy. We particularly appreciate the practical approach with conclusions and recommendations that are within an executable implementation scope. Moreover, the early stage business model was understood and critically challenged when necessary. The outcome of this collaboration went clearly beyond our expectations.”
Nicolas Huxley, Founder and CEO, Elephbo / Huxley Design AG
(MSc business project, HS 2020)
“The students of the MSc Business Project really impressed me with their in-depth analysis and strategy recommendation on how GoCheck should be entering the pre-defined Western European market. The group was working very independently and within a short time frame of just 5 weeks conducted an excellent stakeholder mapping enriched by very interesting customer insights (among other tasks). As the output is very practice oriented, we will be implementing some of the recommendations directly into our go-to-market strategy and plan to stay in contact with the group beyond this project.”
Satschin Bansal, Vice President International Business GoCheck
(MSc business project, HS 2020)
“The MSc students in international business did a fabulous job, grasping the context, challenges and opportunities of scaling the Florian Schlumpf brand globally extremely well. We were impressed by their enthusiasm, scientific rigor and careful thought they have put into their work. It was not only a pleasure and highly professionally conducted piece for academic work, but something very practical that has real and tangible value for us – anytime again!”
Markus Kramer for “Florian Schlumpf – Become Timeless”
(MSc business project, HS 2020)
“This has been a very valuable project for us in reaffirming the direction we’re headed in as well as opening up new doors and ideas that we wouldn’t have thought of ourselves. Additionally, having insights from fresh eyes also helps to look at things from a new angle and really drives creativity. We really appreciate the hard work your students put in.”
Somniacs / Birdly
(BSc business project, HS 2020)
“My expectations of the quality of the business project Market potential middle east as motivation for internationalization were clearly exceeded. I am impressed by the depth, the drive, the professionalism and the connection between theory and practice that the young students demonstrated. The recommendations for action are specific and can also be implemented for a medium-sized company with reasonable effort.”
Andreas Keller, CEO PAWI Verpackungen AG, Winterthur / Switzerland.
(MSc business project, HS 2019)
“The presentation was very interesting for us and it was impressive to see how much understanding the students gained in such a short time. I will be happy to take the time to study all the work the students have done and am sure there are many valuable insights in the report. Many thanks also from our part for the pleasant collaboration.”
N.N. (MSc business project, HS 2020)
A competent team of international management specialists with many years of professional experience are the coaches and supervisors of the MSc and BSc international business projects: We are looking forward to challenging questions, which we approach together with our students in a practice-oriented way.