NC student wins first place at X-Culture Global Symposium

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NC student Nicholas Conlon (right) and his X-Culture teammates receive awards for Best X-Culture Team at a symposium in Washington D.C. at the end of October.

A Niagara College student proved to be among the best of the best at an international business student symposium in Washington, D.C.

The X-Culture Symposium, co-organized by the Academy of International business U.S.A. Southeast Division, was held Oct. 26 to 29 at The University of the District of Columbia. Participants were selected through a competitive process, and Nicholas Conlon — a fourth-year International Commerce and Global Development student at NC — was among 50 students from 21 countries chosen to take part out of 40,000 X-Culture participants.

At the symposium, Conlon and his team, which included students from Italy and Kenya, won an award for Best X-Culture Team in the Perkins International Consulting Competition. They placed first in the competition, tasked with building a consulting proposal for the company.

“I feel that this experience was a one-of-a-kind opportunity to work with a global team from vastly different cultures,” said Conlon.

The opportunity to sit down with the CEO and CFO of Perkins Management Services prior to presenting the group’s proposal was a highlight for Conlon.

“This allowed for my team and I to recommend a strategy that could make a real, sustainable solution for the company, setting them on a direct path for long-term growth,” he said.

Conlon has been involved in X-Culture through his International Marketing Strategies class. Each semester, students in the class join students from around the world, working in global virtual teams of six. They spend a semester solving real-life business challenges presented by real companies. The best students are invited to participate in the annual symposium. Professor Navjote Khara — who won a Best X-Culture Instructor award for 2016 — encouraged Conlon to take part.

Conlon attributes a portion of his success to Khara, as well as Musabbir Chowdhury who runs the College’s Productivity and Innovation Lab (Pi Lab) where Conlon completed his co-op.

“The two professors have given me amazing experiences to prepare for the real world,” he said.

He also thanked Vivian Kinnaird, dean of Business, Hospitality and Environmental Studies Division; and Justin Williams, associate dean of the School of Business and Management, for their support.

“I am extremely proud of Nick and his achievements with X-Culture,” said Williams. “Nick is an outstanding student, and while I know our team always does exceptionally well under Dr. Khara’s leadership, to win first place really surpassed our expectations.”

Conlon, who was born and raised in St. Catharines, was also grateful for the support of his family.

“I could not have been in Washington if it wasn’t for the support and encouragement I received from them,” he said.

After he graduates from the four-year bachelor degree program at NC, Conlon plans to pursue a MBA in finance.

“I feel with that I could add tremendous value to the Niagara region economy,” he said.

Conlon continues the College’s success with X-Culture. In addition to NC professor Khara who won a Best X-Culture Instructor Award in 2016, a third-year student, Gwendolyn Kitiwano (Bachelor of Business Administration – International Commerce and Global Development) won top honours from X-Culture for Best Report in 2015 as part of an international team.

For more info about X-Culture visit x-culture.org/

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