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Global Initiatives in Management (GIM)

A cornerstone of the Kellogg School's international curriculum is the Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) program. GIM began in 1990 when a group of 27 students organized a course and a two-week trip to what was then the Soviet Union. Since then, the program has expanded greatly, covering five continents and hundreds of international destinations. Today, 250 students participate annually in the program, which offers courses to Kellogg's full-time, evening and weekend, and EMBA programs.

GIM Bolivia and Spain 2018

GIM Basics

The GIM program is an intensive global business course, designed with the following objectives that will allow students to:
  • To gain a foundational understanding of the macroeconomic trends, politics, history and culture of a country or region outside the United States.

  • To experience firsthand through meetings with government officials and company representatives the economic ecosystems, business practices, market dynamics, and future opportunities and challenges of a particular country or region.

  • [For topics classes] To understand the framework of a particular business topic or issue through the lens of a specific country or region, including any challenges, opportunities, and strategies used to address it, and then apply the framework to other countries and regions throughout the world.

  • To develop the skills necessary to collaborate with peers on a project that analyzes and proposes solutions to a particular problem within a sector of industry, including the skills required to set up and conduct independent business meetings abroad. 

The GIM experience is divided into two sections — in-class and in-country.

In-Class Portion

  • Timing: GIM is offered as a Winter elective class for full-time, evening and weekend, and EMBA students that meets 8 out of the 10 weeks during the Winter Quarter in addition to one wrap-up class that meets during the Spring Quarter.

Winter Quarter (Jan. 7 – Mar. 15)
8 classes
  • Academic course focused on broad overview of country or region (or topic within country or region)
GIM Trip (Mar. 19 – 29)
*trip dates vary by class
  • All-class company meetings
  • Group project company meetings
  • Cultural activities
  • Free time
Spring Quarter (final class date varies by class)
1 class
  • Research presentations
  • Wrap-up discussion

  • Major Deliverable: Students work in groups of four - five to design a business plan, research question, industry analysis, or business case around a business topic of interest (see examples below) relating to all countries being studied.

Examples of GIM 2018 Student Projects
Women Entrepreneurship (Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Emerging Markets: Colombia and Peru)
GIM Social Impact Education
Fighting Energy Poverty in East Africa
Cashing in on a Brexit Fallout (Branding the Nation: Bolivia and Spain)

In-Country Portion

  • Timing: Over spring break, all GIM classes will spend up to ten days in-country. All students are expected to arrange their own international flights and meet up with their classes at 9:00am on the designated start-date of their itineraries. At the end of the trip, students may either continue traveling or return to Evanston. All students are expected to return in time for their first class of the Spring Quarter.
  • Schedule: In-country time is primarily devoted to business and culture, with free time for the students primarily in the evenings and during the weekends. The class will meet with government officials and business and industry leaders as a group (called “plenary meetings”; see examples below), while the group project teams will work to set up their own meetings and conduct first-hand research with key stakeholders in country.

Examples of GIM 2018 Plenary Sessions
Greater China: oeing China, Disney Shanghai Resort, Tencent, Capital Group
Frontier Markets (Cambodia and Vietnam): Nagacorp, Ministry of Transport, Up Co-Working Space, Fulbright University Vietnam, 500 startups, IDG Ventures/McDonald's, Ho Chi Minh City
Social Impact (Tanzania and Kenya): A to Z Mills, Off Grid Electric, mPesa/safaricom, LivelyHoods 1, Sanergy, iHub, Twiga Foods
Branding the Nation (Bolivia and Spain): Gustu, Mercado de Coca (CONALTID), BancoSol, Congreso de los Diputados, Partido Popular, Instituto de la Empresa Familiar, El Pais, Ciudadanos
Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (Colombia and Peru): Fab Lab Peru, Cienciactiva, Wayra, UTEC Ventures, Breca Group, INNPulsa, Polymath Ventures, Endeavor Medellin, Globant, Tigo Une, Co-work LatAM

To learn more about the 2019 GIM program, please click on the tabs to the left. Also, feel free to contact the Global Programs office:

Christine Dunn
GIM Assistant Director

Debbie Kraus
Director, Global Study Programs

GIM Greater China 2018

GIM Greater China 2018