In March, the Accelerated MBA cohort completed their International Business course abroad which included stops in Munich, Vienna, and Ljubljana. The course provides the opportunity for students to see how business is conducted in other parts of the world and create a platform to compare and contrast business cultures globally. This year students got to visit companies in a variety of industries and make stops in five countries.
After several class sessions in Denver, the students met in Munch to kick off the in-country portion of the course abroad. Visits to SAP, the Bavarian Business Association (vbw), and Airbus Helicopters provided a look into the economic drivers, educational system, and business outlook in Bavaria.
Students then spent several days in Vienna, which began with a lecture on the Austrian business environment. Visits to the Vienna Porcelain Manufactory, OPEC, and Diamond Aircraft offered a peek into other industries and a different approach to business.
Finally, the group traveled to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, to learn how business are conducted in a post-Communism society. As a small country of two million inhabitants, Slovenia has a blend of small and large businesses. Students visited Gorenje (a white-good manufacturer), TPV (a parts-supplier to the auto industry), Rimac Automobili (just across the border in Croatia), and the Port of Koper. The final day also proved an opportunity to visit the Italian town of Trieste.
The contrast between the companies and countries provided insights into the reliance of EU countries on each other and the opportunities that exist in newer economies. In their debrief presentations, students also discussed the differences in the educational systems between these European countries and the US, and the impact that has on the workforce. The class also observed differences in corporate culture, work-life balance, and varied approaches to competition.
Overall, this course and the experience of traveling abroad provided students with skills that will help them become global leaders after graduation.