Executive MBA program gets an ‘A’ in global learning

Coles College of Business Executive MBA students will receive more than a grade when they complete their latest group project‚ which included a 10−day trip to Romania last September. The cross−continental jaunt was just one portion of an eight−month project‚ made possible by a partnership between the Department of Leadership and Professional Development in the Coles College of Business and Romania’s Institute for Business and Public Administration.

Georgia (Mar 16, 2007) — Coles College of Business Executive MBA students will receive more than a grade when they complete their latest group project‚ which included a 10−day trip to Romania last September. The cross−continental jaunt was just one portion of an eight−month project‚ made possible by a partnership between the Department of Leadership and Professional Development in the Coles College of Business and Romania’s Institute for Business and Public Administration.

“This unique learning experience clearly positions KSU as a leader in innovation with respect to equipping its students with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete in a global marketplace‚” said Mike Salvador‚ chair of the Department of Leadership and Professional Development.

Nearly 25 American students and more than 80 Romanian students make up a total of 13 teams. Each team is assigned a unique project‚ including venture capital proposals‚ best practice benchmarking‚ business plans and customer retention analysis.

“The project is a unique experience for our EMBA students because no other MBA/EMBA program has a group of students from two different countries working together this way‚” said Rodney Alsup‚ developer of the program and senior associate dean of executive education programs.

Students correspond across continents through data portals on the Web‚ videoconferencing and teleconferencing. In April‚ the Romanian students will travel to the United States to join their American counterparts in presenting the projects.

“This experience with my Romanian colleagues has been invaluable in that it has exposed me to some real−life business scenarios and obstacles‚” EMBA student Colleen Bickett said. “It isn’t a theoretical or classroom learning session; this is real.”

“The Romanian students are great to work with and they have great business acumen‚” said EMBA student Matthew Belli. “I realized we are building relationships with professionals in Europe and that we should leverage those relationships in the future.”

The project has proved to be so invaluable for some students that they commit to return to Romania for a second time as alumni. Many alumni see a return trip as an opportunity to mentor current students and to renew friendships made during the first trip to Romania. Cindy Jacoby was this year’s alumni adviser for the trip. Jacoby first traveled to Romania as an EMBA student in 2005.

“It is evident that the new administrative team is dedicated to continuous improvement of the program‚” Jacoby said. “I have to credit the KSU administration for taking the feedback from my 2005 class and making an already meaningful trip even better.”

The success of the program has prompted Coles College of Business to consider developing similar partnerships with universities in Colombia‚ Canada‚ Germany and China.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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