MBA students travel to Germany to learn from some of its top businesses
For a group of 44 Bryant MBA students this past January, a 10-day, three-city journey to Germany helped to cultivate their understanding of the interconnectedness of world economies and cultures.
The trip was taken as part of the MBA program’s Global Immersion Experience (GIE), a three-credit course that introduces students to the economic opportunities and challenges of doing business abroad. A required group project with the host country builds on core constructs of the students’ first semester of academic study.
Throughout the trip, the students “meet and interact with senior business leaders and innovators."
“Germany has a high concentration of world-class leading-edge companies, artistic attractions, and historic sites,” said Professor of Management John Visich, Ph.D. “This experience gave our students the opportunity to obtain a deeper understanding of business and culture in Germany.”
Led by Visich; Dirk Primus, Ph.D., assistant professor of management; Bjorn Carlsson, director of graduate programs; and Linda Barringer, assistant director of graduate admission, the group visited Frankfurt, Munich and Heidelberg and toured industrial trailblazers in each city. For example, thanks to the professional connections of Primus, the group visited Frankfurt's Lufthansa Systems, the technology division of the world’s leading air freight carrier, to discuss their approach to innovation. They also took a behind-the-scenes tour of the Frankfurt airport.
They then traveled about 100 km south to Heidelberg. Meetings there included SAP, a multinational corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations.
The group finished in Munich, where they had a private tour of the world's largest BMW production plant.
"This was a trip that was full of learning, in and out of the classroom.”
“I couldn’t be happier with the experience I had,” said Mallory Rousseau ’11, MBA ’18. “From the people I met, the cities and sights I saw, and the innovative businesses I was able to visit, this was a truly enlightening and worthwhile trip.”
In addition to touring the businesses, the students got a taste of German culture. They attended a Bundesliga soccer match in Frankfurt, saw how Bavarian beer is made, and took a walking tour of a castle.
“Seeing a different culture has broadened my horizons and made me appreciate the world more,” said Charlie Wescott ’18 MBA. “This was a trip that was full of learning, in and out of the classroom.”
Bryant's GIE can be transformational for the MBA students who take part. “It is an important cornerstone of educating future global business leaders,” said Bjorn Carlsson, director of graduate programs. Throughout the trip, the students “meet and interact with senior business leaders and innovators, and are exposed to cutting-edge innovative technologies while immersed in a foreign culture. The experience truly expands students’ intellectual horizons and appreciation of diversity in a global business world.”
This was the first GIE trip to Germany. In previous years, GIE groups have traveled to Panama, Chile, and China.