Experiential Learning Through an International Lens

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Graduate students experience real-life global business and strategy through company site visit

The Belk College of Business Dual MBA Program with the EGADE Business School Tecnológico de Monterrey jointly hosts the Global Competitiveness in Latin American Markets at the UNC Charlotte campus. This one-week intensive summer course has become a special feature of the MBA dual degree program; providing EGADE students the opportunity to attend an abbreviated term at UNC Charlotte, incorporating the Belk College student experience and directly experiencing the booming business community in the Queen City.

One key advantage of the “Global Experiences” course is the beneficial networking opportunities that are available throughout the week. Dual-degree students, who primarily complete courses at EGADE, travel with their instructors to UNC Charlotte and meet with fellow students from UNC Charlotte. Together, they are introduced to local business leaders and foster new relationships in the international business arena. The MBA students from both schools partner together to dive deeper into global topics, including international trade and competitiveness, foreign direct investment, NAFTA, firm internationalization, emerging country entrepreneurship and more issues that are top-of-mind for the international business community of today. This year, the course curriculum was designed to include an on-site experiential learning experience with a leading microcircuits company in the Greater Charlotte region.

A case study, specially written for the course has been a major focus of the curriculum, with successive classes following the expansion and success of the company which first outsourced a portion of its production to China and then later opened a new manufacturing facility in Costa Rica. These steps have contributed to the unique success of the integrated circuits company, relative to its competitors. A new component of the course this year was an experiential learning opportunity — a visit, presentation and tour of a local company facilitated by Mr. Dave Dalton, CEO of General Microcircuits, Inc.. Mr. Dalton and GMI have generously been part of the course since its inception and the graduate students were immersed in the interworking of the international business ventures of General Microcircuits, Inc. at the Mooresville, NC headquarters and plant.

Expansion of a company from a developed country into an emerging country is a central focus of the “Global Competitiveness” course and GMI’s expansion into Costa Rica is a perfect example. The visit to the Mooresville plant, brought the classroom case study to life and was a major highlight of the week. The site visit included a presentation by Mr. Dalton and a tour of plant facilities. The culture of GMI is an authentic reflection of the company motto: “At GMI, our word is our bond.” Graduate students were able to experience the mutual loyalty between the company and its employees, and the positive impact on the local economy in Mooresville, through the industry-relevant curriculum of the Global Competitiveness in Latin American Markets course.

The Global Competitiveness course is taught by our distinguished faculty Dr. Rick Conboy of the Belk College of Business and Dr. Luis Calderon of EGADE. Together, they engage students in an interactive course focusing on three levels of global business and strategy: multinational operations, international trade and management of emerging markets. The coursework also provides an opportunity to immerse both dual MBA and domestic graduate students in an enriching, intensive educational experience. The integration of lectures and guest speakers provides an invaluable contribution to the course experience; enabling each student to interface with leading companies with significant international capacity. The opportunity to engage students with representatives from the global business community as they share their expertise and experience will continue to remain a special feature of the one-week intensive course for many years to come.

EGADE Business School Tecnológico de Monterrey is the most prestigious business school in Mexico and Latin America due to its global business vision, entrepreneurial and innovative spirit and responsible leadership. The partnership between EGADE Business School and the UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business is the only one of its kind for the top business school in Latin America. The strong relationship between these two business schools serves as a prime example of the benefits of international cooperation, resulting in an exponentially enhanced experience for these students.  This dual-degree program has been developing leaders for over 10 years, demonstrating Belk College’s commitment to its long-term relationship with EGADE.