YSU Student places second in International X-Culture Project

Zakria Chandio and Kelly Cruz participated in the 2023 X-Culture Global symposium, Oct 26-28 in Atlanta, GA. Chandio’s team finished in second place at the international competition.

Youngstown State University's Zakria Chandio, a junior majoring in Finance in the Williamson College of Business Administration, placed second with his team at the 2023 X-Culture Global Symposium held in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kelly Cruz, a senior Accounting major, also participated at the symposium on a separate team. Omer Genc, associate professor, Management and Marketing, assisted both students with their preparation for the competition.

X-Culture, an international experiential learning project sponsored at a local level through the WCBA, provides the opportunity for students from different countries to work in global virtual teams and complete a business project. Through this project, students gain exposure to the challenges and best practices of global cross-cultural collaboration. Roughly 6,000 students from 140 universities in over 50 countries participate in the project.

The X-Culture program included a variety of sessions for students participating, such as meetings with entrepreneurs, academics and community leaders, as well as access to all Academy of International Business Southeast conference events. Events included scholarly presentations; panel sessions; professional development workshops; networking; social events and concluded with an invite for top student group performers to attend the corporate challenge known as the Global X-Culture Symposium.

Leading up to the symposium, the teams made up of 5-7 students collaborated virtually for four weeks prior to the conference, finishing up their assignments face-to-face upon their arrival in Atlanta. On the last day of the conference, all teams presented their findings and recommendations to executives from corporate partner YKK, the world’s largest zipper manufacturer, and X-Culture professors. Winning teams were awarded certificates and a cash prize.

Chandio expressed gratitude for the experience. “Representing YSU against top international student teams from other universities and creating a business development project for YKK, a billion-dollar manufacturing company, is something I feel proud of," he said. "It was a great experience working with people and top faculty from all around the world.”