Shortly after the start of 2013, eighteen College of Business and Economics (CBE) sophomores and juniors will embark on what promises to be a life-changing, immersive trip to China.
As part of the Doing Business in China Global Lab, the students will spend a week in and around Shanghai. They will attend seminars led by local experts at Tongji University, conduct case studies and visit companies.
Under the guidance of Oliver Yao, the George N. Beckwith ’32 Professor, and Katrina Zalatan, associate dean and director of undergraduate programs, the students will also enjoy cultural experiences ranging from local shopping to visiting “must-see” locations.
John Chrin, chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council, partner at Circle Wealth Management and former global financial executive-in-residence at Lehigh, will also accompany faculty and students on the trip.
The Doing Business in China Global Lab joins the successful Global Lab in Singapore as a recent addition to the CBE’s undergraduate global portfolio and highlights the CBE’s goal of becoming a next-generation global college.
“Recognizing the importance of globalization and understanding the intricacies of a global economy are key success factors for the next generation of business leaders,” says CBE Dean Paul R. Brown.
Educating for a world without borders
The recent appointment of Paul Brockman, the Joseph R. Perella and Amy M. Perella Professor of Finance, to the post of Associate Dean of Global Initiatives signals the college’s commitment to expand its global reach. Brockman will serve as the primary leader of the college’s globally directed education and research efforts.
For the CBE, says Brown, developing leaders for global impact is a promise, not just a slogan. Global and cultural awareness are core underpinnings for all the curricula developed in the college. This reflects the commitment made by the college in its 2010 Strategic Plan.
To help ensure that students are well-prepared to lead in a world without borders, the college works closely with Lehigh’s office of international affairs, which was established in 2009 as part of the implementation of the university’s strategic plan priority of expanding Lehigh’s international footprint. This collaboration has been a critical factor in successfully identifying and implementing the college’s global initiatives.
Expanding international opportunities
The CBE has made a concerted effort to expand opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to develop a global perspective, international business skills and the ability to communicate more effectively with people from other cultures.
In addition to the Shanghai and Global Lab in Singapore programs for undergraduates, the Lehigh MBA program last year sent students to the United Kingdom to study corporate social responsibility, to Beijing, Ningbo and Shanghai, China to study manufacturing and logistics, and to Tours, France, for a summer program in global business.
Upcoming trips to Greece to focus on the European financial crisis and Chile and Argentina to explore contrasting developing countries will add to the MBA program’s collection of global opportunities.
A winning strategy
The competition for the best and brightest business students has never been more intense, and it requires a comprehensive strategy to prepare students for success in a global economy.
“As we look to expand and strengthen our international offerings,” says Brockman, “it makes sense to forge strategic partnerships with institutions abroad. It is a win-win situation.”
Successful relationships with Nottingham University in the UK, Tongji University in China and the ESCEM School of Business and Management in France give CBE students and faculty opportunities to share ideas, experiences and resources. College faculty members are working with the office of international affairs to identify and pursue additional strategic alliances.
“The importance of a world-view perspective – a global mindset, if you will - when making business decisions cannot be overstated,” says Brown. “We embrace the challenge of providing experiences that will equip our students to compete and lead in the global marketplace.”