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Elon MBA students experience business and culture of Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok

Students connected with businesses in Vietnam and Thailand, engaging in compelling discussions about emerging economies and the interaction of business and government.

Elon MBA students visit a VF/ Timberland manufacturing facility with executive Robert Hiley in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Elon MBA students developed a deeper understanding of the complex economic, legal, political and cultural issues involved in doing business abroad through a global engagement component of the MBA “International Business” course.

Twenty-three students spent 10 days in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Bangkok, Thailand, to examine the challenges and opportunities presented by doing business in Southeast Asia in the twenty-first century. They met with executives at ScanCon, Theodore Alexander, VF Corp. – Timberland, Kingsford Thailand, Ltd. (Suniture), La-Z-Boy, Jewelry by Bastiaan and Omnova Engineered Surfaces.

"Professor Haya Ajjan and I were very impressed with our students' preparation for our business visit and their sophisticated and enthusiastic questions for each of our hosts," said Rob Moorman, Frank S. Holt, Jr. Professor of Business Leadership, who led the course with Ajjan, associate professor of management information systems.

“The opportunity to study in Southeast Asia during the International Business course was a key differentiator in my decision to enroll in Elon's MBA program,” said Jonathan Lindberg ’04. “Fourteen years ago I was fortunate to spend Winter Term studying the EU as an undergrad. I would say with certainty that the benefit of immersion in a foreign culture is even more relevant and important today than it was back then. The ability to develop awareness as a global citizen remains a critical hallmark of the Elon experience."

In addition to company visits, students engaged in a variety of cultural experiences. In Ho Chi Minh City, students dedicated a full day driving through the bustling highways into the countryside and boarding a sampan for a unique experience on the Mekong Delta waterways. In Bangkok, students traveled by boat through the Klongs to see family homes and temples on stilts, a way of life that has earned Bangkok the title “Venice of the East.” The students also visited the Grand Palace and Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha).

“The trip to Vietnam and Thailand was the most eye opening and enriching experience of my life, from both a personal and business angle,” Dalton Brower said. “I would vote that the international trip be mandatory for all MBA students.”

Learn more about the Elon MBA program here.

Olivia Hays,
2/13/2017 4:35 PM