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2013 Atlanta Symposium

February 10th, 2013, by



The X-Culture Symposium will be hosted by the Home Depot and will be held on October 25-27, 2013 in Atlanta, Ga., USA.

The X-Culture Symposium is organized as part of the Academy of International Business-Southeast USA Annual Conference,

The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer, has agreed to serve as the corporate host of the X-culture symposium.  Home Depot is sponsoring X-culture because:

  1. Home Depot needs your help with further development of the Home Depot online (how consumers interact with Home Depot’s website). You will have an opportunity to serve as a consultant to Home Depot and provide new ideas to help Home Depot grow.
  1. Home Depot is using the X-culture symposium to attract top talent to its corporate offices. Home Depot will promote employment opportunities and seek talented candidates.

For you, this is also a great opportunity to interact with talented and ambitious students from around the world, attend research sessions at AIB-SE, and visit the Capital of the South – Atlanta!

The X-Culture symposium is limited to a maximum of 50 students. A selection committee will choose 50 participants from the list of interested applicants. Preference will be given to applicants from under-represented countries.

More details

X-Culture Symposium in Atlanta:

Past X-Culture Symposia:


The program includes The Home Depot challenge (a business competition organized by the Home Depot), meetings with the Home Depot management and employees, company tour, as well as access to all Academy of International Business Southeast conference events, including scholarly presentations, panel sessions, symposia, professional development workshops, networking and social events. The conference brings together hundreds of world’s leading International Business scholars and professionals form dozens of countries.


This would be an excellent opportunity to meet your teammates, other X-Culture students, professors, world’s leading International Business researchers and business people.

Timeline of Events

  • September 15 – Complete the form below to indicate your interest
  • September 20  – Decision letters will be sent out.


  • September 25 – All approved candidates must register for the AIB-SE conference ($150).


  • October 1 – You will be assigned to a team and the Home Depot challenge will be released. In your team, you will do preliminary work to develop the best consulting report.


  • October 24 (or earlier) – Arrive in Atlanta – You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements to Atlanta.


  • October 25, 9:00-13:00 – Corporate visit to Home Depot. Spend time with Home Depot executives to learn their business, ask questions, and fully understand their needs.
  • 8:00 Meet at Georgia Tech Conference Center
  • 8:20 Leave to Home Depot, a bus will be provided
  • 9:00 Arrive at Home Depot
  • 9:00-9:30 Continental Breakfast at Home Depot
  • 9:30-10:20 Company Presentation, Presentation of the My Account service, Meeting with the Home Depot Management Team, Q&A about the Company
  • 10:20-10:30 Break
  • 10:30-11:00 Tour of the Home Depot Store Support Center
  • 11:00-11:30 Lunch at Home Depot
  • 11:30-12:30 The Tree House tour
  • 12:30 Depart Home Depot
  • 13:15 Arrive at Georgia Tech Conference Center
  • October 25, afternoon and night – Work with your team to complete your consulting report.


  • October 26, 8:00 – Submit consulting report


  • October 26, 12:30 – The finalist teams are announced (expected 5 best teams)


  • October 26, 16:45-18:00 – The finalist teams present their consulting reports to Home Depot executives and X-culture faculty


  • October 26, 19:00-22:00 – AIB-SE Gala and Awards Dinner – Home Depot presents prizes to the winners of the X-Culture Symposium teams (top 3 teams).


  • October 27, 11:00-1:30 – Delta Airlines Global Operation Center visit
  • October 27, 13:30 – Conference ends!


The Home Depot announced an additional competition for students who plan to attend the X-Culture Symposium in Atlanta. Students attending the event will be placed in international teams of 5 and will have 1 month to complete a business proposal with ideas on improving Home Depot’s My Account online service (details on the task here).

The teams will collaborate online for several weeks and will then have an additional day or so to finish up their reports working face-to-face at the conference in Atlanta. The teams will then present their ideas on the second day of the conference. The winners will be announced at the closing ceremony at the conference and the members of the winning team will be awarded special Best Team certificates and cash prizes.

The Home Depot also indicated their intent to offer internships and possibly jobs to the most talented students, although no details as to the number of the available positions have been released and no firm promises have been made.


4.1 Cost

Students interested in attending the X-Culture meeting must largely rely on their own funding to cover the following expenses:

  • Academy of International Business Southeast conference registration (student rate): $150

Covers access to all conference activities, professional development sessions and social networking events, including welcome reception, annual luncheon and keynote address, award ceremony and business meeting, as well as light refreshments and food during the conference, transportation to and from the Home Depot headquarters outside Atlanta.

  • Hotel: Hotels in the area cost $60-$150 per room per night.
  • Travel to/from Atlanta: Depending on your destination, the round-trip airfare will likely cost about $300-$600 within North America and $800-$1500 for intercontinental travel.


  • Food: Light lunch and dinner will be provided on most of the conference days, while breakfast is often included in the price of the hotel room. However, expect to spend additional $10-30 on food per day depending on your tastes.

4.2  Travel

Students are responsible for making their travel arrangements, to and from Atlanta, including buying their air tickets and making other travel arrangements. We will provide bus service free of charge from the central meeting location in downtown the Home Depot headquarters  and back to the central location.

We recommend arriving in Atlanta on or before October 24 as the X-Culture meeting will start early in the morning on October 25.

If you are attending the Academy of International Business Southeast conference, we recommend scheduling your departure for October 28 or later. However, the conference will be largely over by 6 pm on October 27, so a departure at a late hour of October 27 would be fine.

The U.S. In general and Atlanta in particular offer a wide variety of great tourist destinations so you may want to add a few more days to your trip for sightseeing.

4.3 Lodging

Students are responsible for their lodging arrangements, such as booking a hotel room or using other accommodations.

Discounted rates are available at the official Academy of International Business conference hotel. Please visit for details.

The Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference center is a high-class hotel and students may prefer cheaper hotels in the area. Please check online hotel booking websites for the best hotel rates.

Also, to save money, consider sharing a hotel room with other students. Please visit this interactive page to find roommates:

4.4 U.S. Visa

Depending on your citizenship, you may require a travel visa to enter the U.S. For more information, please visit this page:

After you register for the conference, you will receive a formal invitation letter that you can present at the U.S. Consulate when applying for your visa. Please note an interview at a U.S. consulate is usually a required part of the U.S. visa application process. The interviews are normally booked 2-4 weeks in advance, so try to schedule an interview as soon as possible.

4.5 Travel Stipends and Financial Support  

Subject to funding availability, X-Culture may be able to offer a small number of travel stipends ($500 each plus $150 conference registration fee waiver, approximately 10 stipends total).

The priority will be given to the members of the best X-Culture teams and students from developing countries. The travel stipends will not be large enough to cover all travel expenses of the recipients, so all attendees will have to cover most of their travel expenses on their own, even those who may get the small travel stipends.

X-Culture will also try to help you get additional finding from your university and other organizations. Most universities can provide some travel funds to their students to attend international scholarly and professional meetings, such as the X-Culture Symposium and Academy of International Business conference. For example, at the last X-Culture meetings in Florida in 2012 and in Istanbul in 2013 most attending students received some support from their universities. Furthermore, many students received funding from their local businesses and not-for-profit organizations and foundations.

If requested, the X-Culture Project Director will write a support letter to the Dean of your school or to the key people at your local business to help students raise funds for their travel. You will be able to request such letters when completing the meeting REGISTRATION FORM

Also, talk to your X-Culture professor about ways to raise funds for your travel.


  • 2013 Academy of International Business Southeast conference:
  • Past X-Culture Symposia:  


Category: Global Symposium
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