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Otterbein MBA students travel to Europe for international perspective

Otterbein MBA students travel to Europe for international perspective

One way the Otterbein MBA program stakes its claim on being the new standard is by giving students a front row seat to leading industry executives and experts. Now the opportunity is enlarged to include an international audience. Nine students and three of their family members will visit Berlin, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic Dec. 4-10 through the MBA International Business Seminar course.

Jim O’Halloran, who is in his second year of the program, looks forward to observing business from a different perspective.

“Having a seat at the table with international executives to gain a global perspective, that’s valuable. It makes us well rounded and able to contribute to conversations and bring in an international perspective to the program,” he said.

MBA instructor Eric Hutchison explains the primary purpose of the course is to have an international immersion experience with businesses, government, cultural, economic and geographic dimensions in Berlin and Prague.

“We will explore opportunities and challenges associated with the globalization of business enterprises, examine differences between countries, and will study strategies for addressing cross-border and multicultural differences. Students will experience global strategies in practice through visits to companies, participation in lectures, case studies, and presentations,” Hutchison said.

Upon arrival in Berlin, students will tour the city to examine historical, cultural and architectural points. They will attend lectures at the United States Embassy and a guided tour through the BMW Motorcycle plant, Gasag gas company, Berlin Stadtreinigung waste disposal company and Transparency International, an organization that gives voice to the victims and witnesses of corruption.

O’Halloran, who is the director for Molina Healthcare’s Ohio contact center, is responsible for leading all customer communication teams. He’s looking forward to the BMW tour to gauge how customer service is handled in Europe.

“I’m curious to see if they outsource which was the industry trend in the early 2000s in the U.S.,” he said. “Several Fortune 500 companies have had to pivot and pull back their customer care to the United States after customer feedback and fallout.”

The group will meet with executives at a familiar sight -- the golden arches, McDonald’s of Germany, to compare and contrast the European practices to those in the United States. After enjoying a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic, consistently ranked as one of the best orchestras in the world, the group will travel to Prague.

Upon arrival in Prague, they will tour a glass factory and Skoda Volkswagen car factory, a lecture with the United States Embassy and a visit with executives of McDonald’s of Czech Republic.

Additional lectures and activities will be scheduled for both countries, and students will also have free time to explore local culture, shopping and the arts.

While this is the first International Business Seminar in more than six years, plans are being made for another trip in 2017.

For more information about Otterbein’s MBA program, visit the MBA website, email grad@otterbein.edu, or call 614.823.3210. Spring semester starts January 9, 2017 and applications are being accepted now.