Each year, students in The University of Texas at Dallas’ Executive MBA program and Global Leadership Executive MBA programs take a one-week international study trip to see how their classroom lessons play out on the world stage.
This spring, the EMBA and GLEMBA students at Naveen Jindal School of Management spent the week touring Vietnam and South Korea, absorbing the lessons of innovation in infrastructure-stressed economies, the impacts of international conflict, the power of rich traditions, and the influence of information technology around the globe.
“There is nothing like walking the streets in emerging economies…that shows our corporate students how vital it is for them to be nimble and responsive to the global marketplace.”
Pamela Foster Brady
Pamela Foster Brady, director of both Executive MBA programs, says the study trip proves to be pivotal in these students’ learning experience. “We get exclusive access to business leaders in the nations our students visit, often because of access provided by alumni from our programs. And, we see innovation happening up close — on the spot — not after having been through countless rounds of assessment in a corporate environment,” she says.
“There is nothing like walking the streets in emerging economies, like Vietnam, or mature economies, like South Korea, that shows our corporate students how vital it is for them to be nimble and responsive to the global marketplace,” she continues.
2017 INTERNATIONAL STUDY TRIP EXPERIENCE
In Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) the need for power is overwhelming the city’s ability to connect everyone. The nation’s power supply often is tapped illegally, creating huge tangles of power lines at every juncture. The UT Dallas executive students, notably, had complete access to Google and social media, despite being in a socialist nation.
In the U.S., Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the for-hire transportation market. In Ho Chi Minh City, motorcycles rule. Uber and Grab — a for-hire transportation company in Asia — are part of the action by offering two-wheeled transportation.
What’s a trip without sampling the local fare:
Squid with octopus and frog, before being popped onto a table grill.
EMBA and GLEMBA students at a street food vendor are shown how to grill their dinner.
And then there are the things that just don’t translate well in the U.S. economy — such as Weasel, Squirrel, or Elephant coffee being sold by a Vietnamese vendor.
The DMZ (demilitarized zone) along the 38th parallel between North and South Korea, was created by agreement between North Korea, China, and the United Nations in 1953 and is guarded continuously.
The Con Dau Jail, with its infamous Tiger Cages, was re-created at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City. At the museum, students saw relics and photos from the Vietnam War. The jail is actually on an island off the coast of Vietnam.
Students experienced live, in-person events and virtual ones.
Executive MBA students Dustin West (left) and Ramneek Bali, with Ericsson, use virtual reality goggles in a banquet room at the Bank of Korea to “watch an event” held years ago in the same room.
UT Dallas students get an exclusive — and rare — opportunity to meet with a senior corporate leader at Samsung while in Seoul.
Students in front of Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City. Students from the GLEMBA and EMBA classes work at companies including Ericsson, Lennox, Jacobs, TI, Hilti, Infosys, Diodes, and Intel.
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