China – Opus Magnum
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FTMBA, leadership, Newsroom

10 Tips on Doing Business in China

I am a Full-time MBA candidate in Opus College of Business and will continue on my second year of study in the fall. Being from Beijing, everything I have experienced here in terms of business culture has changed my idea of surviving in the foreign business world.

Frankly speaking, it really took me a while to get comfortable with the new rules of American business culture and I appreciate that the UST MBA program allows me to start practicing early enough before I totally embarrass myself in front of my future colleagues and business associates. Simply beginning with a firm handshake, I am adapting in various business events as well as comparing how people from different backgrounds interact with each other in this special environment. Continue Reading

FTMBA, Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

China adds 15 companies to the Fortune Global 500

roundtableI’m in Asia this week, representing the UST MBA at The MBA Tour Roundtable workshops, events that enable MBA admissions representatives to meet with small groups of 6 to 10 prospective students.  Unlike a typical “trade show” style MBA fair, where students go from table to table to pick up brochures, the roundtable format enables students to have in-depth discussions with each participating school.  This benefits both the school and the student, as school representatives can fully explain program offerings, while students have the opportunity to ask questions and find out which schools might be a good fit for their interests.

At my first stop in Shanghai on Friday, I took a look at the Shanghai Daily newspaper left at my hotel room door in the morning.  The front page headline announced, “Chinese companies set Fortune 500 list record.”  China now accounts for 69 of the top 500 global companies by revenue, second only to the US with 133 and just ahead of Japan, which has 68.  The article notes that the US set a record with 197 companies in the top 500 in 2002, but that the number of American companies has dropped each year since then. Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship, EveningMBA, Local business, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

Millions in sales–with no salespeople


Evening UST MBA alumna Jenny Cai may have completed her studies at UST a decade ago, but she clearly remembers her marketing and finance lessons well.  She and her husband founded, a Burnsville-based company specializing in custom trade show displays.  With over $4 million in revenue last year and sales growth of 30% between 2009 and 2010, Cai’s company is an outstanding example of the power of positive word-of-mouth marketing.

As Cai explained in a recent interview with the Star Tribune, she has no salespeople on her staff.  She relies on referrals from existing customers, who clearly are more than happy with the display materials that DoTradeShow creates for them.  The company’s customer testimonials section on its website runs to 26 pages, and the organizations include universities, hotels, small entrepreneurial ventures, and even 3M Worldwide.

The Star Tribune article cites Dr. Dave Brennan, Professor of Marketing in the Opus College of Business and Co-Director of the Institute for Retailing Excellence, who commends Cai and her husband on their word-of-mouth marketing strategy and suggests additional ways to continue to build their company’s brand.  Brennan emphasizes the importance of companies building interest in their offerings by showing examples of products created for other customers, and also by providing satisfied customers with brochures or information that they can pass on to interested friends and colleagues.

The focus on digital media during the past few years might lead people to believe that traditional marketing vehicles such as trade show displays are relics of the past, but Jenny Cai and have proven that a healthy market for high-quality tangible marketing products still exists.

Jenny Cai is one of many successful UST MBA students and alumni with roots in China.  The Fall 2010 issue of B. Magazine, the magazine of the Opus College of Business, profiled several of our Chinese students and took an in-depth look at the rising influence of China on the world economy.  UST may be located in the heartland of the United States–but our MBA programs are enriched by students from around the globe, and our international graduates have a growing positive impact on the local and global economies.

EveningMBA, Newsroom, Study Abroad

The Value of an Elective Abroad…in Hong Kong

Spencer Wiggins is an Evening UST MBA student who participated in the “Global Financial Services” J-Term Study Abroad trip to Hong Kong.

Victoria-Peak[1]Global Financial Services was one of the most important classes that I took during my UST MBA .  The course gave me practical experience in an emerging economic power.  In the next 20 years, China will likely have more than just a voice and place at the table when it comes to business/economics in the world.  I firmly believe after the experience that China will have a chance to co-lead the world with the United States. Continue Reading

EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom, OCB Alumni, Study Abroad

Perspectives from half a world away…

Trevor Mulvey on Lantau Island

Trevor Mulvey on Lantau Island

For some MBA students, the January term (J-term) is a time to relax, catch up on projects around the house, and enjoy a break from textbooks and exams.  However, more than two dozen Full-time and Evening UST MBA students chose to participate in the FINC 752:  Global Financial Services seminar that took place in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China. 

Led by Dr. Michael Sullivan, Associate Professor of Finance, the purpose of the class is “to provide MBA students with an opportunity to better understand the global financial services industry and to gain an exposure to non-US points of view.”  Through site visits to the Hong Kong stock exchange and various financial services firms, students gained a better understanding of the financial opportunites and challenges presented by the world’s largest and fastest-growing market. Continue Reading

EveningMBA, Executive MBA, FTMBA, Media, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

MBA supplies: calculator, textbooks…passport?

travelIt’s no surprise to Opus Magnum readers that commerce is truly global today.  Large international conglomerates choose locations for their operations based on factors such as cost, availability of efficient transportation, and the educational level and language skills of local residents.  One firm may have its headquarters in the United States, engineering and design offices in Europe, manufacturing operations in China, and call centers in India or the Philippines. 

How do leaders of such corporations ensure that all of these widely-dispersed parts work together effectively?  MBA programs are increasingly tailoring their curricula to help students understand today’s global business environment.  A recent U.S. News and World Report article takes a look at several programs that have integrated on- and off-campus educational components focused on best practices in global business. Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship, FTMBA, leadership, Newsroom

China’s Newest Dynasty

Hong KongI am wrapping up my trip to China with a stop in Hong Kong for the GMAC Asia Pacific Conference. It has been very interesting to see so many of the major cities of China and see how much growth has taken place here. There are so many new skyscrapers! I know that this growth is not reflected across the whole country, but still while other countries have struggled during the recession, China has charged ahead. How did the world’s now second-largest economy avoid the freefall while preparing for world dominance?

Michael F. Sullivan, Ph.D. answered this question in the latest issue of B. Magazine. Continue Reading

Admissions, FTMBA, Newsroom

Reporting from Taipei

I’m writing this from my hotel in downtown Taipei, just a few kilometers from the tallest building in Asia, Taipei 101. In my two stops so far on the World MBA Tour, I have met a number of very interesting people interested in coming to UST.  One has created, what she described to me, as a Chinese version of Web MD; another ran safaris in Zimbabwe including a presidential visit to the country; and others have been involved in various areas of finance and marketing. I plan to continue to reach out to these prospects and tell them more about UST. Meanwhile, I have logged a video diary of my trip–think reality tv interview segment–and posted it below.

My next stop is Hong Kong, perhaps I’ll post another video from there!

Admissions, FTMBA, Newsroom, Study Abroad

Crossing the Pacific: A Student Perspective

Today I am at the World MBA Tour fair in Shanghai. I met some great students in Beijing and thought now that it would be useful to share some student perspectives on the UST MBA program. From B. Magazine:

Studying abroad: Chinese students in the United States
More than 98,200 Chinese students studied in the United States during the 2008-09 academic year. Only India sent more students to American colleges and universities. The most popular field of study for all international students within the United States was business. Reflecting national trends, in fall 2008, the greatest number of international students studying at St. Thomas were from India, followed by China.

Why do Chinese students flock to the United States? Reasons include the value of a degree from a U.S. college or university and the desire to learn more about our country. But these students are not the only ones to benefit. The New York Times reports that students from China brought $18 billion into the U.S. economy during the 2008-09 academic year. Their presence is not only an economic boon to the United States; it also benefits American students, who can learn from their Chinese counterparts.

Jing Zhang: From China to UST
Jing (Ariel) Zhang first came to the United States as a master’s degree student at Missouri State University, where she was studying enology (wine making). In Missouri, she made friends with business students who impressed her. Deciding she should pursue an M.B.A., she began preparing for the GMAT. During this time, she met a woman who had earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Thomas. “Her excitement when talking about UST made me curious and eager to learn more,” says Zhang. Zhang applied for the Full-time UST MBA program and is now a student at St. Thomas. Continue Reading

Admissions, FTMBA, Newsroom

The Chinese Dichotomy

Forbidden City

Tianmen Square and Beijing's Forbidden City


Me, at Beijing's Summer Palace, on my last trip to China.

I landed in Beijing this morning (or evening, here) on the first leg of a recruiting trip for the Full-time UST MBA program through the QS World MBA Tour. Throughout the next week I am lucky enough to be visiting Shanghai, Taipei and Hong Kong. Along the way I will be posting a few thoughts about business in China.

In addition, in a bit of fortuitous timing, the fall issue of B. Magazine came out this week, focusing on the People’s Republic of China as part of our goal to educate and inform as well as to take part in a broader dialogue about the economy and business and their roles in and impact on our world.

So to begin my trip, here’s some interesting background on China from the magazine: Continue Reading