This year MBA students at ESMT had the opportunity to travel to a different part of the world in order to learn more about international business as part of the International Field Seminar. The class of 2019 traveled to China to experience business life in one of the most remarkable economies in the world, presenting the class with some unique challenges and opportunities.
Preparation for the IFS begins long before the trip to China. To begin with, students were split into groups and then tasked with finding companies to visit that reflected a range of learning opportunities. A variety of different types were considered before deciding on Startups, Venture Capital Firms, Accelerators, and Corporate Investment Centers.
“The benefit of meeting with accelerators and startup hubs is that they are a great way to get exposure to smaller startups, thus broadening our reach and getting access to enterprises that would have been out of reach otherwise” – Alex Bernhardt, MBA Program Manager
One of the first visits was to the Microsoft Research Lab – Asia, providing the opportunity for the class to dive straight into the booming tech economy of China. The Microsoft lab employs more than 200 full-time scientists and specializes in areas such as machine learning and cloud computing, looking at their specific applications to the Asian economy.
“Coming from a city like Berlin with a large tech economy, it was really interesting to see the differences and similarities in innovation practices between the two countries.” – Agnes Horvath, MBA Program Manager
The class also managed to make time for some global diplomacy whilst in China, spending time at the Delegation of the European Union to China to learn more about international relations between the two economies. China is the EU’s biggest trading partner, and together they make up two of the largest trading partners in the world. Making the appropriate connections and learning the skills to take advantage of this positive relationship is a vital take away from the IFS for the class, paving the way for international employment opportunities in the future.
The total list of visited companies:
- EU Delegation in China
- Tencent Incubator
- Bosch Software Innovations
- Fudan University
- Eaton Partners
- Mobility Asia
The IFS is an intense week, but the team still made time for plenty of sightseeing. With such an international and diverse cohort of students, some were able to impart a bit of local knowledge to the rest of the group in the moments away from the official visits.
“The IFS was an amazing trip. It was a very intense week but we learned so much about the Chinese economy and its relationship to Europe. It will be incredibly useful when it comes to employment after graduation, as I will have a depth of knowledge and a contacts book that many others won’t.” – Animesh Srivastav, MBA Class of 2019
The IFS is not the only international experience on offer to students, the Global Network Week and Responsible Leaders Fellowship are available to the class of 2020.