Evening MBA Students Complete Immersion Portion of Asian Business Course
Ten MBA students and one undergraduate graduating senior are participating in the 2014 MBA Asian Study Abroad course, which just completed the immersion component in Hong Kong and China from January 13 to 17. The course, sponsored by the Boeing Institute of International Business (BIIB) in the John Cook School of Business (JCSB) at Saint Louis University (SLU), provides students with practical knowledge of the complexity of the environments of the region and builds analytical and strategic thinking skills that can be applied to conduct global business in Asia.
The course is being led by JCSB faculty member Professor Hongxin “John” Zhao, who stated:
“This course exposes students to real-life experiences with doing business in Asia. Combining the traditional classroom lecture with corporate visits, guest speakers from academia and industry, and field-market surveys provides a rich and substantial learning environment for students.”
The first class was held on December 18 in the business school, with the San Francisco students linked-in via video conference. The curriculum for the in-country portion of the course included class sessions at City University of Hong Kong business school, case presentations, and guest speakers to expose students to the intricacies of global business in Asia. Student Mike Furey noted, “The guest lecturers were remarkably insightful and provided an outstanding and candid view into the political, social, and business aspects of life in Asia—and necessary considerations for doing business there.”
In-classroom hours are balanced with activities out of class to show students the business practice and culture first-hand. In additional to some cultural site tours, the group visited the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and traveled to Shenzhen in Southern China to visit Ricoh Camera. “The company visit to Ricoh was a highlight for me,” explained Furey. “To observe nearly 5,000 employees in their workstations literally assembling copy machines before our eyes was enlightening to say the least. The hosts were very hospitable and gave us a great overview of Ricoh manufacturing in Shenzhen, China, as well as an understanding of how their operation was but one part of Ricoh’s global operations.”
While in Asia, the students conducted a field study on a specific consumer product. Positioned as an American company intending to introduce their product into Hong Kong or China, the teams researched the product, the market, and conducted face-to-face interviews in Hong Kong. The findings and product strategy recommendations will be presented in early April to a mock corporate executive board at the JCSB. A final paper is also due before the end of the semester.
The 2015 course is currently in planning. For more information, visit the Boeing Institute of International Business
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