Global Trade Accelerator Program

The Global Trade Accelerator Program is a two week work integrated learning (WIL) experience connecting international student teams with NSW based exports on a virtual platform.

A virtual WIL export experience

Project dates

October 2018 - June 2019

Project overview

The Global Trade Accelerator (GTA) Program is a two-week work integrated learning experience. It is set up as a virtual program matching international student teams with NSW-based exporters and trade professionals to complete an international market research report. The report is written in response to an export brief supplied by the exporter, which outlines their company background, which geographic market they are interested in for exporting purposes and specific areas of focus for the research. The students are best matched with export briefs that leverages the international students’ cultural connections to their home countries. The students are supported by curated learning content built on the Practera experiential learning app.

Project highlights

There have been numerous highlights from this project. Over the course of the past seven months (from November 2018 – June 2019), Practera delivered the GTA program to almost 500 students (including 336 international students), across six cohorts, representing a total of 92 student teams. To enable this program, Practera has also built up a network of approximately 70 NSW-based exporters and trade professionals.  The feedback surveys demonstrate that both students and exporters have had a very positive  program experience, indicated by the willingness to recommend. Out of ten, the students’ willingness to recommend is 8.5 and exporters willingness to recommend is 9.4.

The quality of the international market research reports that have been produced by the student teams have been excellent. For example, 70% of the final reports which were reviewed by the exporter or trade professional either met expectations, exceeded expectations or significantly exceeded expectations. As part of the review, some exporters commented that the quality of the reports were of such a high calibre that they would be distributed to senior management to inform strategic business decision-making in relation to their export business. Some exporters also indicated that they were so impressed with the students’ work that they would consider engaging the students in further research work.

Project background

NSW hosts international students with experience and connections in offshore markets. These students demand more employability skills and experiences during their study and are an amazing potential resource for NSW exporters seeking to better understand international markets. To address these challenges, Practera assembled a consortium of partners (both university and industry) to develop, implement and pilot the GTA program. The program is designed to connect international student teams with interest or expertise in particular markets, to undertake market research projects for NSW exporters through a digital portal and gamified project learning app built on the Practera platform.

Project outcomes

The outcomes from this program have been strong and impressive. Between November 2018 and 30 June 2019 92 student teams undertook the program with each team producing a unique international market research report in response to an export brief. Over 90% of teams completed the program by submitting a final report.  In addition, students noted that they had improved some key employability skills including collaboration, communication, teamwork and problem-solving. In addition, 81% of students noted that they had improved their social and professional networks as a result of participating in the program.

Project deliverables

Since Practera was awarded funding for this project in September 2018, this project has involved the establishment of a brand new program, including program concept and design, the development of marketing assets and collateral, filming and editing of videos, content creation, and the configuration and testing of the program to ensure seamless delivery on Practera’s experiential learning platform. In addition, to enable the success of this program, Practera engaged a number of industry partners including the ECA, GTPA, Austrade and City of Sydney. These industry partners supported content development and the marketing and promotion of the program. This project also involved engaging with relevant university partners to provide pipelines of students into the program.

Challenges and recommendations

The main challenge that the Practera team encountered is the ongoing recruitment of exporters and trade professionals. This was not so much a challenge during the funding period, however, to continue to deliver the program at scale, the Practera team will need to continue to work with industry partners to reach networks of exporters to raise awareness of this program opportunity. In terms of the program design and delivery, the Practera Programs team have received feedback which has fed into the continuous improvement of the program. For example, the Practera Programs team have recognised that within the two-week program duration, it is important for the student teams to receive one piece of feedback (at the draft report stage) which supports them to produce a high-quality final report. Consequently, the program has since been adjusted to involve a mandatory (as opposed to optional) submission of both a draft report and a final report.

Further information

Practera.

Shi-Shi Truong

Director – Customer Success

E: shishi@practera.com