Last 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.
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.