Study Abroad – Opus Magnum
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Study Abroad

Newsroom, Study Abroad

Going for the win-win

It’s been said that if the first genetically modified food product (GMO) explored in the European Union had been a banana with extra nutrition for developing countries, the entire perspective on GMOs would be different.

Instead, crops with insecticide and herbicide properties were discussed. Because of concerns about how these plants might affect the community and local ecosystem, they never caught on in the EU, regardless of their ability to increase crop yields (and probably profitability). Why alter agricultural production methods simply to cater to the wishes of foreign Big Businesses many Europeans wondered, especially when the long-term effects of GMOs are so unknown? In contrast, the majority of corn and soybeans grown in the US are genetically modified and few think twice or worry about their potential affects. Continue Reading

Newsroom, Study Abroad

Tales from Abroad: Negotiations are Hard

This post is by Lindsey Buhrmann, student in the Evening UST MBA program currently taking part in a UST MBA study abroad trip. Lindsey has been chronicling her trip on her blog, Lead Changes and we will share a few posts here with you.

The first thing I’ve learned is that negotiations are hard. Our goal is simple: develop a contact to import granola bars into the European Union with respect to the cultural norm in much of the EU that says food that has been genetically modified is bad.

While this might not seem like a big deal to many Americans who are generally unaware of genetic modification (who can dislike something when few are even aware it exists?), it is a huge deal for our German counterparts. The Germans, students from Trier, have come to Brussels to meet us in “neutral territory” to begin discussions about the contract (which isn’t even a real contract, but an international negotiation exercise for both groups of business students). In a few days, we will travel to Germany and complete the contract. Continue Reading

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, Newsroom, Study Abroad

Abroad in London, Learning the Importance of Risk Management in Business

Amelia Gazlay is an Evening UST MBA student who participated in “Risk Leadership in a Global Context,” a J-Term Study Abroad trip to London.

BenAs a part-time student working a full time job, going to school can be extremely brutal. This past January I decided to take a break from work and partake in a study abroad program in London on global risk management. It was very valuable for me to take the time away from work to focus solely on an MBA class for one week. Here are my top ten reasons why other students should consider taking an elective study abroad course: 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

Ethics, FTMBA, leadership, Newsroom, Student Life

Project HMC – an MBA Student’s Journey to Uganda

Visiting the Kasubi Hope Medical Clinic

Visiting the Kasubi Hope Medical Clinic

Two Full-time UST MBA students recently returned from a J-term Study Abroad trip to Uganda. Not your typical MBA study abroad experience, we wanted to share with Opus Magnum readers some of the experience, from their Project HMC blog.

Why, exactly, we are going to Africa (a question we have been asked many-a-times), started this way.

A series of fabulous opportunities and support from great people at the University of St. Thomas joined forces to start the ball rolling on this project:

  1. Two 2nd year MBA students went to Mali, Africa last year during January on a grant, but when the grant ran out, so did the possibility for another trip this year… or so we thought
  2. Students had been working on projects for a medical clinic in Africa through Net Impact, a local chapter of a national MBA organization
  3. Faculty and staff at UST are extremely supportive of student initiatives, all it takes is initiative–and lots of meetings.

With these three pieces of information under our belt, Sean and I began navigating how we could go to Uganda to work with Hope Medical Clinics. With the tremendous support of our “champion” Ann Johnson, Director of the UST Center for Nonprofit Management, we set up an independent study class, found a faculty advisor, applied for grants, secured some funding, and planned the project and trip.

After many iterations of what would be most helpful to the clinics at this time, we settled on compiling a situation analysis of the clinics addressing some of the key challenges they are facing. Upon our return we will work with the Hope Medical Clinics board of directors and a group of executive MBA students to create a strategic plan addressing HMC’s goal of expanding from 2 clinics to their goal of 400. During our time in Uganda, Sean, Ann, and I will observe, interview, inquire about, and analyze many aspects of the clinics. We will also attempt to better understand the cultural implications on running a nonprofit and how that should impact the strategic plan.

The content above is from before the team left the U.S. What follows are some impressions on their work with the clinic:

Throughout our two weeks, we spent quite a few days at the Kasubi clinic, and one day at the rural Ndejje clinic. We conducted 1 on 1 interviews with staff and led a marathon brainstorm at the Kasubi clinic. There were so many cultural implications on the way the clinics operate, that I felt the time we spent with families and going around Kampala was extremely useful to any recommendations we could make.

We concluded our time in Uganda by compiling a situation analysis of all aspects of the clinic & the environment in which it operates. We narrowed down to 4 areas of recommendation, and promised a lot of deliverables we now need to create!

Kudos to Charles and his staff for their great work. After visiting the free government clinic and a private clinic in the area, we truly understood the need for Hope Medical Clinics Uganda & hope we can help them continue to provide their services and expand to improvehealthcare standards across Uganda!

It is great to see the reach of the UST MBA, moving beyond “typical” business cases and into real-world challenges like this.

FTMBA, Newsroom, Student Life

Study Abroad: Mali

Full-time UST MBA student John Kamman and I traveled to Mali, Africa for two weeks over J-term. Our trip was part of a non-profit independent study course through UST. Our group consisted of eight students (from areas including engineering, sociology, French, and business), four professors, and Kate Herzog (MBA ’09).

It was a great hands-on course that combined business with economic development. The overriding purpose of the trip was to partner with the Malian Agribusiness Center and USAID to provide assistance in agricultural development projects that had been initiated. Specifically, we worked on two projects: shea butter and seed potatoes. Continue Reading

EveningMBA, Newsroom, Study Abroad

Meet Braydon Andrews

Evening UST MBA Student Braydon Andrews shared some of his thoughts on studying abroad as part of his graduate education.testimonial_large-andrews[1]

One of the most amazing experiences in my Evening UST MBA was a J-term study abroad trip to London, U.K. The course was Risk Management in Global Firms, and we enjoyed being taught by a different instructor each day. They ranged from the director of Enterprise Risk Management at KPMG London to a terrorologist who is also an independent security advisor to the U.S. and British governments. These instructors taught us cutting edge risk management theory and techniques. This was particularly relevant to me since I work in Target’s Internal Audit group. I was able to generate new ideas and strategies around risk management and apply them immediately to my projects at work.

I have realized that a UST MBA will enhance my abilities in any professional environment. My peers at UST range from corporate executives to engineers to nonprofit directors. Whether I continue to work in my current role at Target or change positions down the road, my UST MBA has better prepared me to handle any situation that I will face.

Read more about Braydon’s experience in the Evening UST MBA »

EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom, Student Life, Study Abroad

Risk Leadership: On Location in London

In January 2010, two full-time UST MBA students and 21 part-time UST MBA students spent eight days in London, England learning more about the field of risk management. The course, Risk Leadership in Global Firms was held at Lloyd’s of London and was taught by Dr. Peter Young, the E.W. Blanch, Senior Chair in Risk Management at UST. Dr. Young is considered worldwide as a leading expert and educator on the subject of risk management.

UST MBA students spent J-Term studying abroad in London.

UST MBA students spent J-Term 2010 studying risk management in London.

The risk leadership concept is rather new, so the course provided a case-based exploration of the emerging enterprise risk management issues that challenge leaders at all levels in global organizations. Five of the top risk management experts from Europe were brought in as guest faculty to participate and present a case based on their own firm or professional experience. Continue Reading