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July 2014

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MBA Graduates Tour Several Companies During Experiential Trip to China

iMBA Graduates in ChinaAs a part of the 2014 MBA Cultural Awareness Experience trip to China, a group of iMBA graduates had the opportunity to visit of number of different companies. 

They toured McKinsey’s China Center for Operations Excellence (CCOE) in Beijing—a program dedicated to providing experiential training to help domestic and foreign companies in China build and maintain operational excellence.

Thanks to a dedicated partnership between McKinsey & Company and Tsinghua University, the CCOE offers a state-of-the-art model factory that enables users to simulate real production environments and conduct hands-on operation improvement tactics. 

Glenn Forman, EAC member and partner at McKinsey & Company, arranged for the iMBA students to participate in various parts of the CCOE program, giving students the opportunity to tour the facility and learn from experts about lean business principles and practices. In the future, students can then apply these lean business practices to make their own operations more effective and competitive.

The students also had the opportunity to visit PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), thanks to EAC Member Bill Corey, who helped arrange the tour. 

iMBA director Mike Busing says, “We are grateful to the Executive Advisory Council for their willingness to help and engage students. This year has been the best by far in terms of company visits. We appreciate the cooperation and support of all the companies we visited.” 

While in Beijing, the students also visited the offices of Sonim Technologies. Sonim manufactures ultra-rugged mobile phones for use under the most demanding industrial and worksite conditions. At Sonim the iMBA students had a unique opportunity to learn how a high-technology company integrates China into its worldwide sales, marketing, and product development activities. 

The iMBA students also traveled to Shanghai to visit the Coca-Cola Technology and Innovation Center where students toured the KOLab and learned about Chinese consumers and appropriate business practices in China. While in Shanghai, the students also visited Subway China to learn about the company’s strategies for gaining a foothold in the China market. 

Prior to leaving for China, the class visited the Shenandoah Valley facility of River Run Cabinetry, a cabinet assembly and distribution company. While in Shanghai, the group visited one of the company's Chinese factories, and in the process were able to understand what it takes to manage at both ends of the "Made in China" supply chain." 

On their last day in Shanghai, students conducted a Consumer Field Study, in which a local travel company created an itinerary of local retail outlets for students to locate, shop, and observe the retail behavior in China. 

This ten-day trip to China is the culmination of the iMBA program. Each year, the location of the 10-to-14 day international trip varies. In previous years, students have traveled to China, India, and various countries in Europe. As a staple of the CoB iMBA program, this trip affords students the chance to learn more about international cultures and businesses practices.

To view pictures from 2014 MBA Cultural Awareness Experience trip China, please click here