Master of Business Administration (MBA) Annual Spring International Trip 2018
The MBA Class of 2018 travelled to the United Kingdom early this March. The group of 26 students and 5 faculty/staff members spent a week in the U.K. visiting London, Oxford, Coventry, and Birmingham. The annual spring international trip is part of the MBA program, providing students with an international business perspective. This year the students had a cultural exploration of Brexit and British businesses.
The first full day was spent in London. The group visited Lloyd’s of London which is an insurance market in London. The Graduate Program Director, Dr. Hilliard, arranged the visit and found it to be a surprising favorite for the students.
“What stuck out to me about the Lloyd’s of London tour was the age of the program itself. Being from the United States, the oldest companies are only from the 19th century. Lloyd’s founding in the 16th century was a testament to the possible longevity of a business and the impact it could have, such as starting the entire insurance industry and continuing to lead it to this day.”
After a quick lunch in Leadenhall Market, the group used the underground public transportation to visit Draper Espirit. Draper Espirit is one of the largest and most active Venture Capital firms in Europe. The students applied what they have been learning in class to the material the firm presented.
“The discussion at Draper Espirt was interesting because they did a valuation in a completely different manner than what we have been learning in our financial analysis course. It goes to show that in the real world, the technical, textbook way of doing things is not always what is used in practice. While many of the fundamental concepts are the same, the method of arriving at the valuation can be different.”
“I have a strong interest in finance and was very eager to see their valuation techniques. It always surprises me how much intuition is used to make multimillion-dollar deals.”
The second day of the trip was spent in Coventry. The MBA Program was able to partner with Coventry University who welcomed the group graciously and were exceptional hosts. Everyone enjoyed a day on the campus and making connections over dinner as well.
New this year, the Applied Management students spent the beginning of the spring semester working on a project with Coventry University MBA students for the company PENSO. It was insightful for all to tour Penso. The management students presented their project to the CEO and had their questions answered. This global consulting project is a new addition to the Applied Management spring elective.
“We were able to sit down and ask Penso’s Operations Manager, Mr. Thorpe, some questions we had regarding our project. He told us that we were headed in the right direction and then explained exactly what he wanted to see as a result of the project which was very helpful.”
A full day was spent in Oxford touring the BMW Mini Cooper Plant as well as free time to explore the history of Oxford.
“The Mini factory in Oxford was an absolute spectacle. The sheer scope, speed, and precision of automation in their fabrication plant was unlike anything I’ve seen before.”
During the free time, many visited the Eagle and Child which is a famous pub due to its associations with the authors J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis.
The second to last day was spent in Birmingham and Stratford-upon-Avon. An academic case the students completed in the fall was brought to life as a historian from the Wedgwood Company came to present the history of accounting to the students. Afterwards, the group explored the Black Country Living History Museum, providing students a historic perspective of the industrial growth within the United Kingdom.
Stratford-upon-Avon was the next stop to tour the Royal Shakespeare Company. While the group enjoyed the behind the scenes tour and were able to visualize the timeline for a production to take the stage, the truly memorable event was when 13 MBA students ended up trapped in the elevator. The elevator at the Royal Shakespeare Company could hold up to 15 people, but that did not regard weight…
“This stop brought an experience that I will surely never forget: getting trapped in an elevator. This situation really provided a look at the crisis management that Royal Shakespeare Company had in a fashion that would have not otherwise been observed.”
Everyone had a good laugh after all the students were safely out of the elevator.
The final day was spent in London without a schedule. Students enjoyed an oddly dry day in London exploring the city. Many began at the Buckingham Palace experiencing the changing of the guards. All the major sights were photographed and many miles were walked. Most captivating was the part of town we stayed in. Whitechapel of London offered quite the diversity with our hotel next to a Muslim Centre, various international food selections, and is known for embodying struggle, survival, and success.
“I tried to make the most of my limited free time in London. The British Museum was absolutely number one on my to-do list, as such, I spent significant time there. It was unlike any museum I’ve been to in both scope and breadth of its collections. It has the kind of place you could get lost in for hours without realizing how much time has passed.”
The MBA trip to the United Kingdom was a huge success and made possible by all the connections made abroad. The group extends a sincere thank you to all of the tour guides, hosts, and contacts who helped the MBA Program navigate the trip abroad. The MBA Program plans to return next spring.