At the Lundquist College of Business, we celebrate our new and longstanding relationships with alumni, friends, product makers, and services in Asia.
The Engaging Asia study tour is a hallmark experience available to MBA students. Now, the Lundquist College has added an Asia tour for our new Sports Product Management (SPM) students, and it is seeing similar success. Below are a few highlights from each tour undertaken in early September 2016.
MBA students learned about important cultural norms and customs while connecting with alumni and friends of the college in 11 jam-packed days in Shanghai, Beijing, and Singapore.
“The MBA students stayed on task and organized, keeping up with the ambitious agenda we set forth,” said John Hull, assistant dean for Portland programs and center development. “Their strong performance helped maximize the educational experience for them and elevated our college’s reputation with our corporate and alumni hosts.”
Itineraries varied based on which center a student is affiliated. Stops during part one in China included Silicon Valley Bank, Nypro-Jabil Electronics, Shanghai Sharks professional basketball team, SECA Worldwide, TE Connectivity, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, early-stage financial technology company Ping ++, talent representation agency Zou Sports, ChinaOne, Nike, Wieden+Kennedy, and a visit with Rob Schmitz, China business correspondent for NPR.
Factory visits included footwear-maker Bosideng and heavy equipment maker Caterpillar.
For part two in Beijing and Singapore, students visited AECOM, Apple, AxiomAsia, City Football Group, Facebook, Impact Investing Exchange, Major League Baseball, Prince Street Capital Management, Sport Singapore, Sports Matters, SPRING, Tiffany & Co., Visa, and the Women’s Tennis Association.
“As a UO alumnus, I am happy to meet students from the school coming out to experience the real world. I am also proud that AECOM has been working on some great projects in China, on top of our healthy practices in the country,” said Qindong Liang, principal at AECOM and 1992 UO graduate. “I think it would benefit the students to closely look into the China market, while I really enjoyed the students’ enthusiasm.”
The visit ended with a facilities tour of the National Stadium (home of the 2008 Olympics), a visit to the Sports Museum, and games with kids at Singapore’s SportsCares program.
This year’s assembly of site visits and meetings also included a strong showing of female leadership.
“For me, I was really inspired by the number of super smart women we met with,” said Lauren McHolm, a 2017 MBA candidate studying entrepreneurship. “All of them had impressive experience, were extremely knowledgeable, and were able to articulate their successes, as well as the challenges they faced throughout their careers.”
For Danielle Barbian, the tour illuminated cultural blind spots while also erasing any potential fear of the unknown when it comes to business in Asia.
“Even if I don’t ever work in an Asian market, I could travel there for business and feel like I could handle it now,” said Barbian, a 2017 MBA candidate with the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. “That’s big: Knowing I could work there or if a company sent me there on a business trip—I could do it. I think that opens a lot of doors for a lot of us.”
While MBAs completed their study tour, all 37 members of the first master of science in Sports Product Management Program took in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Vietnam.
The tour is a required element of the SPM experience and aims to provide the students with an experiential education into all three of SPM’s core values: global perspective, sustainability, and product innovation.
“Our international partnerships and the international trip to Asia is a unique feature to UO Sports Product Management,” said program director Ellen Schmidt-Devlin. “This essential market trip provides access to industry and academic experts, reinforcing what they are learning in the classroom about the marketplace, Asian consumer, sports product supply chain, and new innovations, such as 3D printing and smart fabrics.”
Hong Kong visits included Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel, Eagle Nice, the Woolmark Co., Clothing Industry Training Authority, and a dinner with adidas.
Next came an Esquel tour in Gaoming, China. Students then traveled to Singapore for classes and a tour at Nanyang Technological University.
The final visit took students to Vietnam, where they took in the SportsGear Footwear Factory, the USV Factory housing Ching Luh and Prime Asia Apparel and Equipment, and toured the Chu Chi Tunnels.
Said SPM student Kris Carlson, “The tour to Southeast Asia is an incredible aspect of the SPM Program. We had the opportunity to explore the manufacturing side of the sports product industry, in person and in context—from the bustling streets of Hong Kong to the motorbike mania of Ho Chi Minh City. It was a great way to gain some cultural enrichment while also making potential career connections.”