MSIS Continental Connections: Part 2

MSIS Study Tour 2018: Spain

The Master of Science in Information Systems Study Tour, like the program itself, was constructed to allow students and alumni to explore, discuss, and discover. With multinational company tours, start-up ventures, and the overarching role of government in commerce, students and alumni were able to see how their classroom studies were reflected in the thriving EU business community. Click here to read about the first part of their journey.

Tot Ziens, Netherlands! – Hola, Spain!

From Amsterdam’s rain, the MSIS Study Tour headed to the warmer and brighter Barcelona, Spain. This ancient city sits on the Mediterranean and for centuries has been a hub of arts and commerce. Today, it is experiencing a commercial and tech boom. Along with tapas, sunsets, and Spanish wine MSIS alumni explored technology and business in a whole new dimension.

Fruity Fast Fashion – MANGO

The versatility of an MSIS degree is that the technology and business lessons can be applied to any industry. In Barcelona, the MSIS alumni visited MANGO, a Spanish fast-fashion clothing designer and manufacturer. They were able to walk through the company’s bustling operations center wide-eyed at the use of technology in the wild. They saw how MANGO’s near real-time collection of data through the company’s POS system enabled the company to accurately forecast sales trends and replenish stock in each of its brick and mortar stores. The company uses RFID technology when loading and unloading, tracking, storing, and dispatching products to the store. But by far the most memorable experience was seeing the company’s specially designed warehouse system that separates hanging and folded garments, and how they whiz through the warehouse with limited human interaction.

MSIS Study Tour in Barcelona

Sky High Start-Up

Many MSIS students have an entrepreneurial spirit. The study tour met with Fran Garcia, CEO of AgroMapping, an agrotechnology start-up company. Garcia’s vision is to use drones and their mapping abilities to improve the Catalonian region’s wine production. Big data and data mining are familiar topics to MSIS students and Garcia demonstrated how his company is using these same tools and concepts to help farmers maximize their crop yield and ROI.

Take a Final SEAT

The last tour was to the Spanish automobile manufacturer SEAT (pronounced sey-at). The MSIS alumni had come full circle from DAF Trucks to yet another vehicle plant. SEAT officials showed the students how they use information systems to combine both human workers with manufacturing robots. The company uses a lean supply chain process and also offers amazing employee benefits. It was here that alumni felt a difference in cultures from the US and even the Netherlands. To top it all off, SEAT also offers amazing employee benefits, such as an on-site doctor’s office and appointments.

Classroom discussions and questions came alive in round-table talks with executives. Technology was seen in action along with its unexpected problems and global solutions. Along the way, students connected to each other, to the larger Foster alumni community, and to their counterparts in the Netherlands and Spain. Technology can unite us, but we must respect that we are at times starting from different views.

For the MSIS Alumni, the Study Tour wasn’t just filled with visits to multinational companies – it was also a chance to explore different cultures and understand the history of each country. In next week’s edition of Continental Connections, hear from the alumni directly about their cultural highlight’s.