Global Executive MBA: Globalization in just 15 months
"The best education for a clever person is found in travel," Goethe once wrote. In keeping with this motto, the Global Executive MBA includes three international residencies to Russia, Asia and the USA, respectively, which students will benefit from in many ways.
"We are convinced that you simply cannot learn certain things unless you experience them first-hand. What better way to gain an understanding of the special characteristics of different markets and cultures than to visit local companies and talk to top managers there about what it takes to achieve business success in the region in question? Therefore, international residencies have been an integral part of the program for 15 years," says Prof. Barbara Stöttinger, Dean of the WU Executive Academy.
The program's first study trip, the CEE residency in July, takes students to Russia. At St. Petersburg State University's renowned Graduate School of Management, they not only study the special characteristics of Eastern European markets but also learn what it takes for businesses to succeed in gaining a foothold in the Russian market, for instance. In the afternoons, participants visit companies such as Hyundai, Japan Tobacco International (the country's leading tobacco brand), Baltika Breweries or the largest SEAT manufacturing plant in Europe.
During the two-week Asia residency in January, students travel to China and India. In Guangzhou and Hyderabad, they gain insights into the two fastest-growing economic areas in the world. Moreover, they have the opportunity to study at leading Asian business schools: at Lingnan (University) College and at the Indian School of Business (ISB).
Engaging in discussions with top managers based in the region is a particularly exciting experience because knowing how to navigate the specific realities of the local market is a sine qua non for achieving business success there, as Rainer Kern, Senior Manager Operations, Midea Headquarter, explains:
"The Chinese market is highly interesting. However, it is heavily influenced by politics, meaning you can by no means compare it to Western markets. Most Chinese businesses see this as an advantage because reforms and innovations can be implemented much faster. For foreign companies, by contrast, this poses a particularly big challenge. If you lack the right information and contacts, it is extremely difficult to successfully navigate China's unintelligible market."
The third and final residency in May is all about the USA as an economic area, global strategies and the Virtual Team Projects. Students travel to New York City, where they can exchange views and opinions with top managers from organizations like Estée Lauder or NASDAQ, before going on to Minneapolis, the hometown of the Carlson School of Management and many Fortune 500 businesses.
The concluding highlight of this residency, and the Global Executive MBA, is the presentation of the Virtual Team Projects during the last module: "The Virtual Team Project is truly extraordinary, and many participants choose this program because of it," says Prof. Bodo B. Schlegelmilch, Academic Director of the Global Executive MBA, and adds: "What makes virtual teams special is that students from different Executive MBA programs join forces, across different time zones and three continents—Europe, Asia and America—, to work on projects without being physically in the same place."
As a result, participants develop special skills that are indispensable when it comes to bringing complex, international projects to fruition in an increasingly globalized world.