Business Abroad: George Fox takes MBA students to China
What is one of many distinctions that sets the George Fox MBA apart? The opportunity to take your business skills abroad.
Each year, the George Fox University School of Business sends students abroad as part of an international residency class to give participants the opportunity to get a business education outside the classroom.
Spanning the Globe
Since the program’s inception in 2004, more than 200 George Fox business graduate students have made the weeklong trips to locales including Brazil and Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, China. The trips are offered through a required class, Global Environment, in the university’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.
Students have the option of taking the course as a regular seven-week class at the school’s Portland Center location or to participate in the international residency trips.
Course of Study
Those who opt for the trip visit a variety of organizations from the financial, manufacturing, technology and services sectors. Students complete reading and research assignments prior to traveling, along with a full day of preparation that includes a panel discussion with guest speakers whose extensive experience living and working in China provide an invaluable resource, according to Jim Steele, an associate professor of management.
Students make weekly journal entries before and after the trip, as well as daily entries while in China in order to retain what they learn. After the trip, students complete a reflection paper that compares what they experienced in China to the research they were able to conduct prior to traveling.
The George Fox MBA: Globally Engaged
The trip is a reflection of the School of Business’ commitment to producing students who are globally engaged.
“We value worldwide experiential learning aimed at understanding and improving the human condition,” Steele said. “We hope to connect genuinely with people from diverse cultures both locally and globally through relationships and reciprocal teaching and learning.”
Not Your Typical MBA
He added that such a course isn’t typical of MBA programs. “We believe that the option of an international residency makes our program unique, as this is something usually found only in international MBA programs. I have heard from several students over the years that the opportunity for travel influenced their decision to choose the George Fox MBA.”
Ultimately, the course is designed to “inform ourselves about matters affecting our world, develop a global perspective and an appreciation of different cultures, which are central to the values and vision of the university and the mission of the School of Business,” according to the course’s syllabus.
The trips also offer the chance to visit historic locations. Based in Beijing, cultural tours included stops at the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.