EMIB Graduate Students Travel to Asia to Expand Their Global Business Perspective
Graduate students studying international business have the opportunity to travel to Asia and put their business skills to the ultimate test. The Executive Master of International Business program (EMIB) at the Chaifetz School of Business organizes an annual two-week trip every summer to immerse their students in a global business experience.
"This trip encompassed 10 days in Asia filled to the brim with so many learning opportunities both in the business sense and the cultural sense," said EMIB Program Manager, Jill Newman. "The two can not be separated completely as the culture and traditions flow into the people and their businesses."
The trip consisted of visiting Vietnam and China, specifically Beijing and Shanghai. Students met with executives from several companies including Bayer, AmCham, China Soy Export, Boeing, Coca Cola Vietnam and Beijing Electric Vehicle Company and AB/In-Bev (AIB China).
"Corporate visits can benefit students in their careers through learning first-hand how MNEs (multi-national enterprises) operate in a changing business environment, good opportunities to enrich students knowledge about how social and cultural factors influence business in Asian markets and applying what they have learned in classes to comprehend the real business cases," said Hongxin Zhao, Ph.D., David Orthwein professor of international business.
In Vietnam, students met with executives from Coca Cola to tour their facility and learn about the company from an Asian perspective.
"Everyone learned about how the country is advancing and beginning to learn how to become more self-sufficient using educational platforms and plant science," Newman said. "The information was helpful for our group to understand the business challenges of today and how the middle class in Vietnam must advance to increase their GDP [gross domestic product] through restructuring and increasing the use of technology."
In Shanghai, students also had the opportunity to meet with executives from Bayer China.
"Experiencing the culture and business practices first-hand was enlightening," Newman said. "They are also still learning about new technologies and implementing systems that can assist them in providing for the population."
Visiting Bayer China also gave students the opportunity to network and join forces with Bayer in the U.S.
"Two SLU students work for Bayer U.S., so both company visits were of particular interest," Newman said. "They made connections with them in regard to joint team initiatives to implement in the future."
Overall, students gained insight into international business and trade, broadening their knowledge about the importance of networking across the globe.
Aside from business meetings, students toured museums, visited historic sights and experienced the culture such as attending a Chinese acrobat show and visiting the Beijing National museum.
"I really enjoyed seeing St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Beijing," Thomas Malone, a student in the EMIB program, said. "It was cool to be so far away from home but still see Jesuits having an impact there."
The annual immersion trip provides graduate students in the EMIB program with new approaches to global thinking through extensive networking opportunities and emphasizing global strategic planning and regional expertise.
"You can use business as a tool to elevate the quality of life of the local population," Malone said. "You're not there to exploit people."
The EMIB program develops students into becoming more strategic, savvy and innovative. Students applied these business strategies from their courses to their meetings with executives of global business companies. This trip is designed to provide students with exposure to different cultures and expand their knowledge of the business world through a global lens.
"No matter where you live, we all struggle with similar problems. Our houses might look different, we may get to work on a bike or moped instead of a car, our food might be different, but there are common experiences that are universal that tie us together," Malone said.
The EMIB program provides two international residency experiences– one in the summer of first year and summer of second year. This experience allows students to understand the realities of business development in Asian markets by engaging with executives, ambassadors and state department officials abroad to gain knowledge of the economic pressures involved when competing in a global economy.