Tuesday, Dec 7, 2021
EMBA program visits Ireland in program highlight
by Adam Grybowski
A group of Rider business students recently completed an international trip to Ireland — the University’s first faculty-led program since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The trip, offered as a class through Rider’s Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program, was held from Oct. 22 through Oct. 30 and featured visits to Irish cultural and business destinations, including the Jameson whiskey distillery, the technology startup Zartis and Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency.
“We were anxious to get back to doing these trips — they are one of the educational highlights of the program and the students love them, “ says Larry Smith, the director of Rider’s business graduate programs who participated in the trip.
Steven Klemchalk ‘07 initially enrolled in Rider’s EMBA program to gain an edge as he sought a promotion at Johnson & Johnson, a company he has worked for since earning his undergraduate degree in business administration from Rider.
“The EMBA program is exceeding my expectations,” he says. “From the start, I’ve learned something and been able to apply it immediately to my career.”
Only six months into the program, Klemchalk already received the promotion — and he is learning more about his employer of 13 years too. Johnson & Johnson has operated in Ireland for more than 80 years. During the trip, students were able to learn from and interact with a senior executive from the health care giant.
“He showcased their innovation and really ignited my interest in this aspect of the company,” says Klemchalk. “It also showed me a new potential place I want to work toward internally within J&J. That was exciting.”
The goal of the trip, Smith says, is to give the students a broader perspective on how business is conducted internationally. "We look at retail, we look at large multinational companies and small entrepreneurial start-ups. Also, we look at all of the differences between the host country and the United States from a business perspective," he says.
Accompanying students as they embark on such an itinerary are faculty from Rider’s Norm Brodsky College of Business. The real-world experience of faculty was one of the program’s major draws for Klemchalk.
The Ireland trip included Atul Tandon, an adjunct professor with previous executive roles at Mylan, Bristol Myers Squibb, BD, Diageo and Unilever, and John M. Guarino ’82, the chair of Rider's Board of Trustees and an adjunct professor. Guarino has more than 30 years of international business experience, including as an executive at Coca-Cola.
“John and Atul both have so much international experience, they are both naturals for this,” Smith says. “John lived overseas for 30 years and brings a lot of value to the program. Our outstanding faculty is one of many reasons Rider’s EMBA is one of the best financial values in the tri-state area.”
Typically, EMBA students will visit two countries as part of this class but it was limited to one country this year in an effort to manage risk as the pandemic persists. To participate in the trip, everyone had to show proof of full vaccination, and rules for masking and testing were in place. “I felt safer in Ireland than I did here in the U.S. because of their COVID protocols,” says Klemchalk.
Rider’s accelerated EMBA program can be completed in 14 months. Designed for professionals, classes are held three Saturdays per month. In addition to the international trip, the program offers 20 hours of individualized executive coaching. The University's AACSB accreditation also makes it distinct. Rider’s accreditation in both accounting and business is an achievement held by less than 2% of all business schools worldwide.
The small size of the cohorts makes bonding likely as they go through the program together. “As students walk through all of the classes together, they are forming lifelong friendships,” Smith says. “That’s one of the many benefits of this EMBA program.”