Executive MBA Program Blog

Executive MBA International Trip in 2019

Posted by Jeff Davis on May 9, 2019 2:21:24 PM

Not Your Average International Trip

The Executive MBA international experience is more than an international trip. You are immersed in the culture of a new city, where traditions and general business practices may seem unusual or even exotic. That is one of the exact reasons we select the locations we do — to create a transformative experience for our EMBA students. In addition to company visits, tours, and presentations from senior management, your team will serve as a consultant to an international organization, applying your knowledge and expertise to a specific client project. This trip is like none you have experienced before. 

Headed off to Estonia and Finland

This year, the Executive MBA students are headed for Tallinn, Estonia and Helsinki, Finland. While these cities are separated only by the Gulf of Finland, the cultures and histories could not be more different. Estonia is one of the most digitally advanced societies in the world, while Finland leads as the most sparsely populated country in Europe. 

Estonia Facts & Figures:

  • 95% of all tax filings are electronic 
  • Blockchain used by governmental services since 2008
  • #40 on the World Bank's list of countries ranked by GDP (PPP)
  • Individual, corporate and VAT on goods/services in 20%
  • Beer (Domestic) = €1.98
  • Big Mac = €3 (Euro)

Finland Facts & Figures:

  • Almost 188,000 lakes in Finland (most in the world)
  • “Day of Failure” every October 13 to encourage people to celebrate the stepping stone to success
  • #23 on the World Bank's list of countries ranked by GDP (PPP)
  • Finnish inventions include: heart rate monitor, ice skates, sauna, molotov cocktail
  • Beer (Domestic) = €6 
  • Big Mac = €5

How are International Trips Selected?

It takes months to evaluate the location options. Tallinn and Estonia were selected and evaluated for topical relevance and experiential learning opportunities that compare and contrast the global challenges and opportunities facing multinational firms. Every spring, options are narrowed down to one that would provide the most relevance for students exploring International Business and Finance courses, as well as a unique and unparalleled experience for our students.

Past destinations have included:

  • Taipei Taiwan, the capital city of Taiwan is a juxtaposition between old and new, with a storied history and emerging new identity.
  • Istanbul & Budapest contrasting Istanbul’s thriving economy with that of Budapest, a city still exhibiting the lingering legacy of former Soviet rule.
  • Santiago, Chile distinguished by the highest per capita income in all of Latin America.
  • Ho Chi Minh City, a great opportunity to imagine what China was like 20 years earlier –astounding growth from a communist regime trying to thrive in a capitalist world.
  • Dubai, often considered the Las Vegas of the Middle East but really more like London because it is such an important player in finance. This is a fascinating location to understand the rapid growth of capitalism in the Muslim world.

DSC_0480South_Africa_blog (32)Bicycles

The trip is a required and credit-bearing portion of the Executive MBA curriculum and coincides with global business and international finance courses. In addition to visiting companies and receiving presentations on country-specific topics as a group, there are cultural visits to key points of interest. The consulting project involves teams of three-four students each, visiting and interviewing executives at selected companies to enable them to complete their respective team project. Projects are completed upon return to the U.S.


Read firsthand student accounts of previous international trips:

Lauren's Trip to Taiwan

Mike's Trip to Vietnam

Sara's Trip to Poland

Topics: international, strategy, Experiential Learning