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Date: Aug 27, 2012
On-Line MBA Program Embarks on First Global Practicum
Students visit China, meet with business executives
Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y. – The inaugural class of Hofstra University’s online MBA program traveled to China, visiting global companies, touring production facilities, and meeting senior executives as part of a global practicum designed to immerse students in foreign cultures and business practices.
The group of 16 students and two faculty members visited four cities – Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Beijing and Guangzhou – and a number of companies during their stay, including Wal-Mart, Morgan Stanley, Lenovo and the IBM Research Center. Among the highlights of the trip: a meeting with David Sutherland, the Asia-Pacific chief financial officer of Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong, hearing a presentation by Cory M. Grenier, ThinkCentre marketing manager at Lenovo in Beijing, and a tour of the world’s largest Sam’s Club in Shenzhen.
“It was such a revealing experience to see how Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club operate in China,” said Dr. Kaushik Sengupta, director of the Online MBA Program and associate professor of management, entrepreneurship and general business. “We met with a number of significant companies and their executives. Students got a chance to see first-hand the immense development happening in China, and came back with a new perspective on what it takes to do business there.”
“The global practicum really adds value to the online MBA program,” Dr. Sengupta said, “because it anchors the curriculum in a global setting that is so important for all businesses today.”
Dr. Yong Zhang, professor of marketing and international business, said the host executives were impressed with students’ insights and questions.
“Such a great learning experience that has undoubtedly broadened everyone’s perspectives and sharpened their cross-cultural business skills,” Dr. Zhang said. “After the trip, students feel more prepared to take on a possible foreign assignment and meet the challenges of today’s global business.”
The group also toured famous cultural venues and landmarks, such as the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Great Wall, and saw the facilities used for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
In Fall 2011, Hofstra’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business launched Long Island’s first on-line MBA program, with a focus on strategic business management. The program’s flexibility is ideal for business professionals whose schedules don’t fit a traditional graduate program. The 48-credit online MBA can be completed in as little as two years, or a maximum of five years. The program includes two on-campus residencies and a global practicum.
Dr. Sengupta said the trip provides a critical opportunity for students to bond with faculty, and with one another.
“A very important contribution of the trip is that it allows the group to be together for an extended period of time – the networking and relationships within this group are much stronger as a result,” he said. “This is all the more important since students don’t get to see one another for most of the program’s duration. This trip fills that void.”
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution of higher education where more than 11,000 full and part-time students choose from undergraduate and graduate offerings in liberal arts and sciences, business, engineering, communication, education, health sciences and human services, honors studies, the Maurice A. Deane School of Law and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.