Recent Nazareth graduate Adrien Stone earns international X-Culture business award

Working with three student teammates around the globe to help a backpack business expand has earned Adrien Stone '22 top global honors in a competition against more than 6,100 students from 171 universities.

Stone and his teammates earned the Best Team Award, placing them in the top 1% worldwide among more than 1,100 student teams in the X-Culture Academy competition.

"The experience of being on a global virtual team was challenging and very rewarding," said Stone, who graduated in May and is now working full-time at Wegmans as a service team leader. "The experience put me outside of my comfort zone. It was the first time I had ever worked on a virtual team, let alone a team with members from across the world. Challenges consisted of having to work across time zone differentials, and breaking work into very small segments with clear instructions for other team members who do not have English as a first language."

X-Culture Academy invites businesses worldwide to ask for help, giving students international business experience as they develop solutions for their clients.

Each team was presented with an international business challenge and the students had two months to develop a solution. Mentored by his professor Jennifer S.A. Leigh from Nazareth's School of Business and Leadership, Stone worked with students Alec Gougeon of University of North Carolina - Greensboro, Joseph Nyiri of the University of the West of England in United Kingdom; and Yash Shantilal Khadke of Indira School of Business Studies in India.

The team worked on a business case for Jacpack, a Colombian backpack company, and their report was evaluated by a half dozen independent experts. Stone says his favorite moment from the experience was submitting his team's final report. "I really realized how hard each of my teammates and I had worked for 6-8 weeks while balancing our other schoolwork, jobs, and personal lives," said Stone. "I was truly proud of the work we produced. Knowing that we were helping a real-life business expand was an added bonus."

Stone and his team will be invited to the 2023 X-Culture symposium and X-Culture coaching program.

Stone has advice for future business students at Nazareth. "Don't be afraid to take the chance, take a leap of faith," said Stone. "A global business experience like X-Culture will open your eyes and sharpen your communication and collaboration skills unlike any other experience you will have as a student!"

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