People may take different geo-political stances, but the reality is that 21st century commerce truly is global. From supply chain to production, international trade is essential to most countries and companies. As a required academic component, Foster Executive MBA students travel internationally for 8-10 days in early-September of the 2nd year to get an on-the-ground understanding of conducting business globally, including the influence and impact of history, culture, politics and economics.
The “International Immersions” include meetings with senior company leaders representing the full spectrum of local to multinational organizations and industries important to the specific country (or countries), as well as visits to manufacturing and cultural organizations. When possible, meetings with government official offer a different perspective and/or a tailored economic/geo-political lecture at the local university.
Over-arching goals of the International Immersions for students include:
- First-hand experience analyzing and understanding the business environment in the country visited
- Insights into potential opportunities and challenges of operating in the country visited
- Confidence applying the knowledge gained to better understand other countries and their economies
- An additional perspective on U.S. business practices, and student’s own organizational role in the global context
Locations visited by the EMBA program include:
- Asia (China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam)
- Central America (Panama)
- Europe (Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland)
- Middle East (United Arab Emirates )
- South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru)
Here’s what our students have to say about the experience:
At the end of the week, it was interesting to look back. Each tour had something different to offer, a different experience, and an interesting perspective as to how politics affect businesses large and small, public and private. The organized chaos on the Viet Nam roads, the over-the-top attention-to-detail-driven customer service, and the ability to make you feel like an object with all of the constant pitching on the streets, Viet Nam was an unmatched, unlike any other, experience I have ever had.
The class really expanded my view of the world and perspective on challenges. The contrasted economy of a developed country versus a developing country was fantastic.
There are several business ideas which I was not aware of. Each and every company visit gave me a great piece of information on innovation, economy and history. Overall, this course taught me so much. Moreover, Professor’s in depth knowledge/ explanations over the visits on the world (International) economy had been adding much more value. The comparisons he made with World Economy and US economy was extremely useful.
The trip definitely expanded my thinking and the historical perspective in advance gave me a great foundation for understanding the environment in which these companies operate.
This trip to Vietnam was a great learning experience. Nothing beats actually experiencing the country in person.
I saw behind the curtain on several types of businesses with which I had no previous experience.
I do a lot of international business in Asia and this helps me with looking at a broader scope than my business segment.