By Ashley R. Fazio
Joint projects are the new norm in most professions — whether it’s collaborating with colleagues in a different department, a different state or even a different region of the world, or using products or parts from an original equipment manufacturer in another country.
Take, for example, Mazda’s Tribute SUV hybrid: The engine is built in Mexico, the transmission comes from Japan, and the vehicle is assembled in Missouri.
Watson School partners and employers such as IBM, BAE and Lockheed Martin also outsource portions of the products they’re developing — something Amanda Bailor, international alumni and career connections coordinator, knows well. “Engineers need to be able to communicate across time zones, cultures and languages,” says Bailor, who joined the Watson School in September 2012 after eight years with BAE, most recently as senior contract administrator negotiating partnerships in India, Brazil, Japan and Sweden.
In her new role, Bailor taps her international prowess to find and maintain engagement opportunities for students, faculty and alumni with industry and educational partners. Her strategy is two-fold: foster meaningful relationships and advance academic opportunities — two paths that are very much intertwined.
“We’re trying to bring our international connections together and use those networks strategically to create valuable opportunities for our alumni and students, faculty and staff,” she explains.
Currently there are a dozen or so universities across South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East with which the school partners. These partnerships include universities in China, India, South Korea, Turkey, Japan, Jordan, Thailand and Vietnam. The Watson School has also joined an international engineering exchange consortium, Global E3, that connects Binghamton University with partner institutions in 18 countries.