Two iconic hubs of global trade – Istanbul and Budapest – will be the focus of Executive MBA students’ international experience this summer.The mere name of Istanbul conjures exotic visions of a global crossroads at the edge of Europe and Asia, set astride ancient trade routes that influence economic and political realms far beyond Turkey.
Budapest also stands astride ancient trade routes on the historic Danube River and, as the capital of Hungary and economic hub of Central Europe, also influences life far beyond its borders.
Those two iconic cities will be the focus of this year’s international experience for Cohort 9 of the School of Business’ Executive MBA Program. The trip by EMBA’s Cohort 9 will be the first time the Business School has sent a group of students into Central Europe to study business and culture, according to Wendy Lowe, EMBA coordinator. Other EMBA cohorts have visited businesses and landmarks in South Africa, China, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates and other countries.
“If previous trips are any indication, the cohort will return to the classroom with a clear understanding of the impact of our global economy and the importance of appreciating the differences in international business practices,” Lowe said.
The 25 students will get inside perspectives on international practices when they visit with key leaders of business and industry in Istanbul and Budapest. The Hungarian National Bank, Mercedes-Benz Turk, Goodyear, Vodaphone, Bosch, Turk Telekom, Accenture and other multinational companies are among those being considered for visits.
“I’m most anxious to meet with the different businesses and enhance my global perspective of our economy,” said EMBA student Michael Gieseking of Orlando, operations manager at Disney World.
“I cannot even begin to convey my excitement,” says EMBA student Lindsay Swantek of Winter Garden, a Disney communications associate. “I already know that our excursion to Istanbul and Budapest will be an invaluable life experience, both professionally and personally. I’m eagerly counting down the days.”
The international element of the EMBA Program focuses on managerial issues such as cultural perceptions, international financial systems, global marketing, human resource concerns and organizational structure.
Students contribute to the selection of the destinations based on numerous factors including education opportunities, size and diversity of the economy, and culture. Cohort 9 wanted to visit a region that other cohorts had not visited and also one that required relatively less travel time, allowing more time at the destinations, Lowe said.
For the first time since the EMBA Program began in 2003, students’ international trip will take place in tandem with an international trip for EMBA alumni, said Lowe. The trip will have a similar itinerary and some overlapping activities, but will focus on the cultural aspects of the destinations rather than business practices.