A collaboration between GlobalAtlanta and Georgia State University to improve international business education will enable a local businesswoman further her own global experience by traveling across the Atlantic.

Georgia State’s Robinson College of Business and Center for International Business Education and Research asked GlobalAtlanta readers about the traits they look for in new hires. Survey respondents were entered to win a Delta Air Lines business-class ticket to Europe or Africa provided by GlobalAtlanta.

Carol Phelps, CEO of Global Financial Analytics LLC, won the ticket in a random drawing Feb. 7.

Ms. Phelps, a New Jersey native, came to Atlanta to take a promotion at IBM Corp. She retired after a 26-year career spent mostly in the company’s global sourcing division, where she analyzed the financial health of potential acquisition targets. She also researched trends in overseas markets, especially in emerging economies, and provided cultural information and market data to help prepare IBM employees for living and working abroad.

Through her work, she found that governments want foreign companies that are invested in the well-being of the country as a whole, not just in their own interests. Companies that approach new countries as partners instead of gold mines may find officials more willing to cut through red tape and ease their entry, she said.

“You really need to get on the ground and establish partnerships. In those countries, it’s important for you to bring some value so that over time there will be some kind of knowledge transfer, so their own people can start learning these skills,” she said.

Global Financial Analytics provides data mining, research and financial analysis to help clients maximize profits. Ms. Phelps is looking to work with companies in the U.S. and overseas. So far she has focused mostly on small businesses.

Ms. Phelps took the Georgia State survey because she believes that global awareness is critical to the long-term competitiveness of the U.S., which is in danger of slipping compared to up-and-coming countries, she said.

“I think the challenge is trying to get a combination of people who understand the specific cultural context of doing business in other countries and simply not taking the U.S. footprint and taking it over to West Africa,” for example, she said.

Ms. Phelps will use the ticket to travel to Europe or Africa before the end of February. She has already traveled to a  few countries in West Africa and could return there or head to Europe. Potential clients interested in hiring her company to conduct research in a particular country are encouraged to call her immediately at (404) 629-1314.

She also welcomes information on any trade missions this month targeting those two continents.

The survey was sent out last week to GlobalAtlanta’s 10,000-plus email newsletter recipients and nearly 1,000 Twitter followers and Facebook fans. To subscribe to receive weekly email newsletters, event notices and occasional surveys and announcements, click here.   

To add your input to the Georgia State CIBER’s study, click here or by typing the following URL into your browser: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/execperspectivesonibeducglobalatlanta.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...