Year: Senior (Class of 2016)
Why did you initially sign-up for MGMT 315?
I signed up for MGMT 315 because I have always wanted to participate in a study abroad program. My friends from Case and other universities have studied abroad, and they come back to the States with strong positive feedback telling great stories about their experiences. While I wanted to enroll in a semester abroad program, my commitment to the varsity football team does not allow me to do so. This two-week program allowed me to partake in a world-class experience while upholding my commitment to the football team.
Overall, what was your favorite part of the program?
My favorite part of the program were the classroom sessions and the cultural tours. The classroom sessions cover topics applicable to professional careers, and they provide the tools necessary for becoming a successful business professional on a global scale. The cultural visits were also beneficial as they gave great insight on the region's history, people, traditions, and customs. Through the visits, I was able to gain a better appreciation for the culture and people as a whole.
What was your favorite professional visit?
For this recent trip to Strasbourg, my favorite professional visit was to the Steelcase business center. Our guide discussed not only the manufacturing processes of high quality ergonomic furniture, but also educated us on high touch business practices that sets their products apart from other competitive companies in the same industry.
What was your favorite cultural visit?
I personally enjoyed visiting the Schwarzwälder Freilichtmuseum Vogstbauernhof, an eco-museum of an old farming village located in the Black Forest. The traditions and customs of the people are fascinating and give valuable insight into traditional German culture. Also combining information I learned on last year's trip to Frankfurt, I have an even deeper appreciation of German festivals celebrating seasonal farming harvests.
Was there anything about the country or the culture that surprised you or that you didn't expect?
Last year, I already knew that German citizens are incredibly friendly to American tourists. I did not expect French citizens to treat us the same way. However, the French in Strasbourg are incredibly friendly to American tourists. In fact, it is possible to create life-long friendships overseas within only two-weeks on this trip if you play your cards right. Despite speaking different languages, it is also easy to network abroad as well.
Do you think MGMT 315 will benefit you professionally, if so how?
There are several ways in which MGMT 315 will benefit me professionally. However, the central theme behind all the various benefits is becoming a better internship/job candidate on a global scale. The most wonderful aspect of this trip is applying everything learned or gained from the classroom sessions and visits to one's own life. This experience is a good conversation starter, but more importantly the experience needs to be a point of discussion on a CV/resumé. This experience distinguishes people apart from other candidates because it provides a dimension of sophistication and experience not abundant in the American workforce. Being able to effectively articulate the experience and its takeaways to an interviewer will portray you in a favorable light as well-rounded and cultured.
Why would you recommend that someone participate in MGMT 315?
To simply make my point, this experience is a high return on investment. The small timeframe allows those heavily involved on campus to participate in a study abroad program without having to leave the States for an extended period of time or violate important commitments made to coaches, bosses, professors, or organizations. All the benefits of a traditional study abroad are included, but the experience is what you make of it.
If you are looking for a great elective to take that is rich in experience, not a heavy time commitment, lightens future semester workloads, helps you graduate on time, potentially improve your GPA, and will provide unparalleled benefits throughout your professional career, this class is the best one to take!
Do you have any advice for someone planning to participate in MGMT 315 program?
The experience is what you make of it. Do not be afraid to break out of your comfort zone. In order to get the maximum benefit out of this program, you may need to get out of your comfort zone. Come with an open-mind, positive and accepting attitude, and be willing to try new things.
One professor told us a story about two people from different countries visiting one another. The moral of that story is that one must be willing to experience a foreign culture not from their own perspective but from the foreign perspective in order to gain a full understanding of the culture.
Professors speak perfectly fluent English and will keep you engaged and entertained.