A cohort of current Executive MBA (EMBA) students recently returned from Italy after spending a week completing challenging business assignments as part of the globe-trotting opportunities on offer when studying an EMBA at Newcastle University Business School.
Over the last few years Business School students have been given the opportunity, at the end of their two-year programme, to take part in a global trip in order to apply their learning and expertise to a management consultancy project within businesses or partner institutions.
Destinations visited by previous cohorts include the USA, Australia, India, Dubai and Chile, where students worked with companies such as The Walt Disney Company and Thomson Reuters.
This year’s trip, organised and overseen by director of the EMBA programme, Juli Campey, allowed the students to work closely with a cluster of businesses, from within the tourism sector, in the city of Lido di Jesolo, Venice, where it was their task to identify potential areas of business improvement and to provide an outsider’s perspective on the resort as a whole.
Juli Campey explained why Jesolo was selected for this year’s consultancy module:
“The international management consultancy module is essentially an opportunity for Executive MBA students, who are already accomplished business people, to work as consultants. It provides them with the opportunity to study important realities in global venues such as New York and Dubai.
“The reason for choosing Jesolo as a destination for our students is that it allows them to gain a better understanding of managing within the context of a large international tourism industry. None of the students that took part were from the hospitality industry, which added a further dimension to their leaning and experience.
“The trips are always a very enjoyable yet challenging experience and encourage the creation of a mutually beneficial relationship for both the students and the companies involved.”
Mark McKenzie, a member of the group that visited Italy, is currently the e-business director of the UK’s largest guitar store – guitarguitar. Mark initially began the MBA as a way of gaining a better understanding of the fast expansion of the company as it went from having no online presence, to leaping to one of the UK’s top guitar retailers. Mark sought to gain advice and use the EMBA as an opportunity to further educate himself as to how to maintain long-term growth of guitarguitar.
Mark commented on the trip to Italy and the role of the MBA:
“The trip to Italy allowed me to work with others in my cohort on challenging international business issues and throughout the week we learned to utilise each team member’s unique background and skill set. Each person brought a different strength to the table which we were able to positively manage in an international context.
“We are all successful, driven business people, but putting into practice theories and frameworks learned in the classroom, was an entirely different challenge in an international environment, in which in which we all learned a great deal from.
“The MBA has allowed me to become more self-aware and to go back to guitarguitar and look at it from the outside-in where I can now see the ‘bigger picture’ with pinpoint clarity.”
Maggie Fitch, who also travelled to Italy commented on the relevance of international business experience:
“I have always believed that you can only coach other businesses with a good, and very informed basis of knowledge. The EMBA at the Business School has not only given me the prestige of having such an accreditation to my name, but also an appreciation of doing business in foreign settings.
“In addition to appreciating the variance of culture, I have uncovered a hidden talent for speaking and presenting in Italian, which came as a very welcome surprise.”
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published on: 25th September 2012