O’Neil ’16 One of Fifty Chosen for X-Culture Symposium

By Christopher Sarachilli | September 15, 2015

Allison O’Neil ’16 in Toledo, Spain, where she spent a semester abroad.

International Business major Allison O’Neil ’16 is one of 50 students worldwide chosen to attend the X-Culture Symposium from November 12 to 14 in Savannah, Ga. Every semester, X-Culture brings together around 3,500 students and professionals from 100 universities and 40 countries to learn about cross-cultural virtual collaboration.

Through the X-Culture Season Program, students and professionals from around the world interact and learn by forming virtual teams of 6 to 8 people, each of whom are from a different country. The teams are presented with an international business challenge and given two months to collaborate on a solution. The X-Culture Symposium takes place at the conclusion of the program.

“Working on a global, virtual team helped me to develop strong communication, teamwork, and leadership skills,” said O’Neil. “My team and I, which was comprised of students from Pakistan, Dubai, Colombia, and the U.S., learned how to overcome cultural differences in order to effectively work together. We also overcame more technical difficulties, such as differences in time zones, language, and internet issues. It’s just very rewarding to have developed a comprehensive, successful report despite dealing with all these obstacles.”

O’Neil and her team will create a business proposal for heavy machinery company JCB and submit it to the company at the symposium in November. The team will meet with JCB executives and tour their headquarters. Besides the JCB challenge, there will be several presentations and panels with international business professionals from around the world, as well as various networking events.

The Symposium is hosted by the Academy of International Business—Southeast USA Annual Conference and will provide substantial networking and employment opportunities for the 50 students invited to attend.