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Immersion Trips Expose Executive MBA to International Policy and Business Climate

November 14, 2016

When Haslam Executive MBA students make their site visits throughout the world each year, they have opportunities to be immersed in the structures around which global business is built.

Recently, some of their destinations have included: Washington, D.C.; Santiago, Chile; Lima, Peru; Shanghai, China; Hamburg, Germany; and Budapest, Hungary.

During their trip to Washington, D.C., students from the EMBA for Healthcare program learned about healthcare policy in partnership with The Washington Campus, a nonprofit, nonpartisan higher education consortium.

Students in the Haslam EMBA for Healthcare program visit with U.S. Rep. Diane Black.
Students in the Haslam EMBA for Healthcare program visit with U.S. Rep. Diane Black.

“We had an opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics,” said Kate Atchley, executive director of EMBA programs. “Decisions are made every day in Washington about healthcare reform, the federal budget, Medicare reimbursements, medical liability and tort reform, and advocacy efforts. All of this impacts our nation’s healthcare industry, and so learning about it firsthand is a vital part of the EMBA for Healthcare experience.”

Haslam students met with a former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a senior attorney with the Federal Trade Commission and Johnson & Johnson’s vice president for global health policy. They also spent time with U.S. Rep. Diane Black.

On another continent, EMBA for Strategic Leadership students learned about international market entry in Chile and Peru to better understand the complexity of managing a business in international markets.

In Santiago, Chile, they had class sessions with Haslam EMBA faculty members Shay Scott and Georg Schaur, as well as faculty from Adolfo Ibanez University. They also met with executives at Wenco Plastics and visited the distribution center for FASA, the largest pharmacy chain in Latin America.

Haslam Executive MBA for Strategic Leadership students visit Mondelez International in Lima, Peru.
Haslam Executive MBA for Strategic Leadership students visit Mondelez International in Lima, Peru.

In Lima, Peru, the students met with Mondelez International, maker of Oreos and Chips Ahoy, to learn how multinational companies compete in Latin America. They also visited Neptunia, where they engaged with the chief operation officer of a busy port operation. The students integrated their experiences across both locations by developing and presenting a Latin America market strategy for a multinational dairy company. 

“International immersion is a central component of Haslam Executive MBA programs,” Scott said. “Having residence periods in locations around the country and abroad is one way we maximize our impact while accommodating the busy personal and professional lives of our students. Firsthand experience adds depth to our executive education that couldn’t be achieved in the classroom alone.”

Scott also teamed up with professors Russell Crook, Mandyam Srinivasan and Priscilla Wisner to teach an EMBA for Global Supply Chain residence period in Europe. Classes were held in Hamburg, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary.

In Hamburg, the class visited the Airbus A320 final assembly line and discussed the supply chain challenges of manufacturing commercial aircraft. Students also toured the highly-automated distribution facility of Reyher, a distributor of industrial fasteners.

In Budapest, the class met with the GE Power leadership team to learn how GE manufactures gas turbine generators and views Hungary as a key node in its global manufacturing network.

“The structures that affect any company’s daily business span the globe,” Scott said. “Haslam Executive MBA graduates understand that and are equipped with tools to achieve the best possible outcomes in a consistent manner.”