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My First Site Visit with GBSN

Posted By Doug White, Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Doug WhiteLast week I had the opportunity to conduct my first site visit for GBSN, with an outing to Michigan to meet with current and future GBSN member schools. Lisa Leander, our Membership Officer, and I traveled to Ann Arbor and East Lansing to learn about the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business.

In Ann Arbor, we met with faculty from both the Ross School and the William Davidson Institute (WDI). The Ross school has been a strong supporter of GBSN from inception and WDI’s outgoing Executive Director, Bob Kennedy, has been an active participant in every GBSN annual conference. WDI has carved a unique niche for itself. It is an independent organization established at the University of Michigan in 1992 that integrates research, educational outreach, field-based collaborations, and development consulting services. WDI works with businesses, universities, development organizations, and governments in emerging economies to implement sound business practices and speed the transition to global engagement. The Ross School’s Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) is an excellent example of involving MBA students in real world organizational projects in challenging markets. First year Ross MBA students devote themselves exclusively to MAP for a semester each spring as a requirement of the MBA core curriculum. Ross students participated in an astonishing 81 internationally-based projects in 2013, ranging from Monrovia to Mumbai.

Following our meetings with WDI and Ross faculty, we had a little bit of time to explore Ann Arbor. As we made our way across campus, we made sure to cross over, but not step on, the bronze M – the former ensures your children will attend Michigan, while the latter seals your fate to never again return to Ann Arbor.

We settled in to dinner at the storied Original Cottage Inn restaurant, a local favorite.

The next day we set out for East Lansing. Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business hosts the International Business Center (MSUIBC), as well the Academy of International Business. MSUIBC was established in 1990 to provide superior education, research, and assistance to businesses, public policy makers, academics, and students on issues of importance to international trade and global competitiveness. Research performed by the Broad College’s faculty and students powers globalEDGE, a comprehensive global business research tool for academics, students and businesspeople that attracts 6 million page hits per month.

Both the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and The Broad College of Business at Michigan State University have an incredibly array of outward-facing initiatives. As an MBA graduate myself (RH Smith, University of Maryland, 2003) I was struck by the degree to which curricula, research, industry networks, study abroad opportunities, cross-cultural exchanges, scholarships, and internship programs have all evolved to incorporate international perspectives and global opportunities. Ten years ago, this level of international integration was not part of the MBA experience, despite the fact that the student body was globally diverse (40% of my class was not from the United States). Clearly, U.S. schools are making efforts to look beyond borders to prepare students for career opportunities and to discover market dynamics in emerging markets. These two schools have distinguished themselves as leaders in their strategies to ensure a global reach for their programs, but we see many others turning increasingly to globalizing their offerings. It is encouraging to say the least to see the confluence of GBSN’s ideals of using the power of business to create a better world and a business education ecosphere that integrates perspectives of both leading and emerging markets. 

Doug White at University of Michigan

 On the University of Michigan Campus


 The delicious chocolate mousse pie at The Original Cottage Inn, a popular Italian Restaurant in Ann Arbor

 

 

Doug White is the Chief Partnerships Officer at the Global Business School Network.

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