story info from the University of Arkansas
Henkel Consumer Goods is spearheading a project this summer to give students in Arkansas and Ireland a taste of what it is like to work in long-distance collaboration for a multinational corporation.
The company has operations in more than 75 countries worldwide. Brent Horn, vice president of Walmart U.S. for Henkel Consumer Goods in Rogers, said Henkel is in a position to help students collaborate over long distances – and to benefit from the innovative ideas such projects generate. Henkel, probably best known in the United States for its Dial soap brand, operates worldwide with brands and technologies in three business areas: laundry and home care, cosmetics and toiletries, and adhesive technologies.
Henkel is doing that in a project involving students at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and at the University College Dublin’s Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
“The students are working to develop a ‘best-in-class’ process of commercialization of consumer products across the globe,” Horn said.
The project’s goal is to find a method for leveraging consumer product trends and technologies in one country and sharing those trends and technologies with the company’s operations in other countries.
Heather Sprandel, director of the George W. Edwards Jr. Career Center at the Walton College, developed the collaborative project.
“It is imperative for college students to gain real experience prior to graduation,” Sprandel said. “In a tough job market and with shrinking company budgets, the career center sought partners at Smurfit and Henkel to help M.B.A. students gain work experience, build skills and solve a real-world business challenge.”
Manish Phogat, a master’s of business administration student, leads a five-member team from the Walton College, which is working with three students at Smurfit. The five Walton College students are Phogat, Lauren Collins, XiaoYan Zheng, Bin Liu and Devavrata Misra.
Horn said the project came about as a result of Henkel’s longstanding relationship with the Walton College. Phogat said team members work on the project from home much of the time and meet face-to-face two to three times a week.
The multinational team approach will give Henkel plenty of ideas with which to work and will suit its global business, Horn said.