Recently, 17 students from Rider University’s Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program, along with four of their professors, had the chance to gain a greater understanding of emerging business markets in Asia.
Through the EMBA International Business Seminar with Travel, students visited a number of businesses and cultural and historical sites in Vietnam and China from May 23 through June 4. There, they investigated the challenges these markets face, as well as cultural and political differences between the two countries.
“For example, off-shoring is becoming more prevalent in these countries. The U.S. is setting up shop there not only for manufacturing, but to also sell those products there. Companies, such as Ford initially conducted off-shoring test and trials primarily for cost-effectiveness. Now, these companies see the opportunity to actually enter into the local markets,” explained one of the trip advisers, Dr. Lauren Eder, chair of the Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, department, about the process of relocating a company from one country to another. “U.S. businesses looking to enter these countries really need to understand the cultural and political differences.”
Faculty advisers also included Paul Benchener, director of the EMBA program, Susan Denbo, director of the International Business major and professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics, and John Farrell, assistant dean of graduate programs in the College of Business Administration.
The Vietnam trip was organized through the firm of Runckel & Associates, an international business consulting firm based in Portland, Ore. The trip to Vietnam included tours of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office, History Museum, the Reunification Hall, the Vietnamese Traditional Medicine Museum and Vietnamese Alive Travel. They visited the U.S. Consulate for a presentation on the current economic and political outlook by Consulate Economics Officer Brian T. Neubert.
In addition, the students had a chance to learn more about Vietnamese businesses and operations when they visited HSBC Bank; Harvey Nash; My Phuoc Industrial City run by Becamex; Acrylic Idea Factory, a U.S.-owned maker of motivational and award items; SAB Miller, parent company of Miller Beer and other beverage products; and Eastern International University, owned by Becamex. On their last day in Vietnam, EMBA students had the opportunity to learn more about a microfinance pilot project during a visit to Dong Thap University in Ho Chi Minh City.
The following week, the students and faculty members traveled to China, where they were able to visit the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai, and meet with a number of business representatives from Jones Lang LaSalle, Shanghai ChemPartner, 3M CHINA, Langham Group / Xintiandi Development, The America Asia Amity Association Zhejiang Chapter, and Geely Motors (Zhejiang Geely Holding Group). They also had a chance to take a tour of the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.
Eder said it was rewarding to see how much the students took away from the trips to Vietnam and China. In fact, a number of students plan to establish future contacts with the businesspeople they visited.
“Most of our EMBA students are mid-level managers with seven to 20 years of experience. They represent various business organizations, including Tyco, Federal Reserve Bank, Weston House, PNC, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, as well as consulting,” Eder explained. “We tailored the site visits according to the students’ broad interests in manufacturing, finance, technology and pharmaceuticals. As a result, our students could appreciate real challenges in emerging countries in Asia.”
For example, Scott Krajnak ’11, a recent graduate of the EMBA program, said the site visits and the trip advisers’ expertise directly influenced his role as a financial advisor for PNC Investments.
“A lot of my clients invest in the Chinese market. I knew I was going to the financial capital of China, and I wanted to broaden my knowledge,” Krajnak said. “This trip fulfilled my expectations and now my confidence is at another level when I talk to clients.”