Twenty-four first-year students from the Lundquist College's Portland-based Oregon Executive MBA program headed to Asia this past December for the program's annual eight-day international study tour.
Hong Kong was the group's first stop. There, the students divided their time between cultural opportunities and business visits—including a stop at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where they met with the market's vice president of corporate and investor communications and saw the gong rung at the day's market-opening ceremony.
After three full days in Hong Kong, it was time to head to Vietnam for a stay in Ho Chi Minh City. Business visits included the Vietnam headquarters of Columbia Sportswear and Microsoft, as well as an afternoon at private-equity firm Mekong Capital.
At a Nike-contracted factory, the visiting executive MBAs saw the construction of an athletic shoe from start to finish—the moment when the footwear was placed in an orange box ready to ship.
Prior to the tour's start, the executive MBA program provided an orientation session to prepare students for their encounter with the two distinctive business cultures. In addition, current students with extensive experience living or doing business in Asia shared tips and insights with the rest of the group.
“The collaborative preparation for this trip is just one example of the ways our executive MBAs benefit from the career and life experiences their peers bring to the table," said Dale Morse, academic director of the Oregon Executive MBA program.
Plans are already in the works for next December's study tour, which will include stays in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.