This year’s cohort of students have been travelling the globe, from Australia to America, India to Shanghai, gaining international knowledge and experience of the increasingly diverse corporate world.
As Newcastle University Business School welcomes back its MBA students from Tongji, Shanghai and Grenoble Ecole de Management, France, it celebrates another year of strengthening its global ties to commercial giants, big financiers and prestigious universities, helping it offer a highly relevant educational experience.
This academic year has seen a boost to the international mobility of students into the business community as part of the School’s drive to ‘go global,’ and ensure that it connects its classroom teachings to the boardroom.
With students from over 80 countries represented across a variety of industry-relevant programmes, the Business School has developed an international learning and teaching programme - Global Experience Opportunities (GEO) - to equip students, who are already living in a multinational setting, the talent and practical skills to succeed in global markets.
The innovative concept of ‘Global Experience Opportunities’ (GEO) offers students a choice of worldwide locations, and timescales, to study or undertake a work placement.
In April, a group of students from the Executive MBA programme travelled to Melbourne, Australia, as part of a management consultancy project run in conjunction with Monash University, designed to integrate knowledge from across their programme, and consolidate their learning through its application in a real organisational context.
The Business School has run this project for nearly 10 years, visiting countries as diverse as Poland, Chile, USA, India, Dubai, Austria and the Ukraine.
Ian Dinning, marketing director at Close House Hotel and Golf, and Executive MBA student said: “The time I spent in Melbourne gave me the practical project I needed to fuse a vast amount of theory I had learnt at the Business School to the corporate world.
“I have gained a number of good friends from the Executive MBA, many of these people I would not normally meet. Their skills and views of business has certainly opened mind to new ways of approaching the projects.
“Apart from the great ‘life experience’ a trip like this offers, I feel privileged to have acted as a consultant to a voluntary organisation on a real business issue.”
The Business School’s head of international relations, Sharmishta Chatterjee-Banerjee, said: “In creating these international opportunities for students, the School has been very careful to avoid the trend of creating a perception of ‘bucket and spade’ holiday visits, which are costly in terms of resources and add little or no value to the education of business students.
“Today, employers are less than enamoured with such international study ‘tours’, and expect to see international experience programmes founded on good pedagogical foundations. The MBA study tours to Tongji and Grenoble were designed with this in mind, where the students undertook a study module in corporate finance in the Shanghai, and a three-day programme in strategic design thinking at Grenoble. Both institutions also facilitated corporate and social interactions, providing our students with the opportunity to enhance their experience of a multi-cultural business environment.”
MBA student Jenny Gillender has recently returned from Shanghai. She said: "My trip to Tongji University was a once in a lifetime experience.
“One of the benefits was the cross-cultural exchanges and interactions with the Tongji MBA students. This allowed us to compare different aspects of our courses, and consequently I feel as though we have experienced two MBA courses in one!”
The Business School is in its second year of innovative summer internships which will see six lucky students travel to India to work with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in one of the world's fastest growing economies.
The students will work on a project of particular interest within the functional areas of India’s central bank, over a six-week period.
Emma Nowak, one of the students travelling to India this month (July), is a stage two economics student, she said: “Going to work at RBI is such a fantastic opportunity, I'm looking forward to seeing how a central bank operates - hoping to see some of theory I've learnt as part of my degree being put into practice.
“It will be a privilege to meet some of the experts who manage India's economy, and I am particularly interested in the methods they put into practice to achieve inclusive growth in such a fast-growing, dynamic economy.
“I hope to gain knowledge of central banking and intend to make the most out of every opportunity I get offered. I've been looking into international work experience for a while, and this seems like the perfect opportunity to take part in something I am genuinely interested in, while experiencing a completely different culture and way of life.”
A wide variety of exclusive opportunities are available for students from undergraduate to doctoral level, for example, in April, Phd student Pablo Muniz travelled to the University of Pennsylvania, US, to attend the Globalization Trendlab conference organized by The Lauder Institute and The Wharton School with the support of Santander Universities.
Sharmishta Chatterjee-Banerjee, continues: “We have experienced another successful year of providing students with some of the best opportunities to engage with high-profile international organisations, spanning both hemispheres.
“A practical, global presence helps consolidate students’ learning and provide them with the practical experience and differentiation needed to get that all–important first job, or to step up the career ladder.
“By working in different cultural settings it helps students grasp a diverse perspective of the constantly evolving corporate world.
“With the evident globalisation of the worldwide economy and competitive job market, we are seeing employers using a global perspective to choose their future graduate employees.
“So, what better way to get graduates to the top of the interview pile than with real-world, global experience and knowledge that is grounded in excellent pedagogical foundations.”
The above article has featured in The Journal as well as the following Indian publications:
published on: 14th August 2012