Law and business students engage Singapore and Vietnam

Elon Law and MBA students met with top business and law leaders in Singapore and Vietnam through a collaborative international business course.

The skyline of Singapore’s central business district.

The international business course featured a two-week study abroad component that included business, legal and cultural activities in Singapore and Vietnam. Students in the course visited a variety of business operations in both locations and discussed with individuals managing those businesses the challenges and opportunities presented by doing business in southeast Asia in the twenty-first century.

Read student insights about the trip to Vietnam and Singapore on a blog available here.

The course was taught by Tom Molony, associate professor of law, Robert Moorman, Frank S. Holt Jr. Professor of Business Leadership, and Jack Hicks, adjunct professor of law and partner at the law firm of Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice.

Elon Law and MBA students, with faculty and staff, travelled to Vietnam and Singapore in January 2015 as part of a collaborative international business course.

“The course offers Elon law and MBA students a great opportunity to work together and to learn from each other,” Molony said. “Lawyers and businesspeople need each other, and the course helps the students understand—first-hand—how to build good working relationships.”

Students in the class organized into teams, with each team focusing on one of the businesses on their Vietnam and Singapore itinerary. The teams researched business and legal issues specific to each company, covering topics such as tariffs and anti-dumping laws, intellectual property law and prevention of counterfeits, labor and employment law, business start-ups, franchising and the regulation of consumable products.

Companies visited in Vietnam included Royal FrieslandCampina N.V., Stanley Furniture Company, Inc., Theodore Alexander USA, Inc. and VF Corporation. Companies visited in Singapore included Luxola Pte. Ltd. and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. Students also met with representatives of the global law firm Baker & McKenzie, the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and a group of expatriates in Singapore.

“As an aspiring business law attorney, the trip was extremely beneficial in that I was able to witness and learn first hand how business people think and view their world, and learn some of the qualities that a business desires in an attorney,” said Mitch Montgomery, a member of the Class of 2015 at Elon Law.

“The Southeast Asia trip was a great opportunity to experience two very different cultures in extremely different economic stages of growth,” said MBA student Byron Bellman. “Every business visit was interesting in that they operated in very similar fashion as western corporations. Simply put, Vietnam was an adventure that should be on all international traveler’s list of ‘must go’ places. Singapore was like stepping back into a much cleaner and more robust Western city complete with all the modern conveniences and comforts.”

In addition to corporate and law firm visits, and studies in business and business law, the trip included a variety of dining and cultural experiences. Students participated in a Tai Chi Class, toured Singapore’s Chinatown and Clarke Quay, an entertainment, dining and nightlife focal point in Singapore, and enjoyed a ride along the Singapore River on a traditional Singapore Bumboat River Tour.

“I was truly amazed by the genuine hospitality and warm welcoming of the people in Vietnam and Singapore,” said MBA student Melissa Deaton. “I was able to immerse myself in each of our unique experiences, learning about their vibrant culture and way of life. I could sense our group grow, not only students, but professional individuals, as we tried exotic foods, visited with local businesses and engaged in conversations that challenged our way of thinking; definitely a once in a life time opportunity!”

Photo of Singapore: By Nicolas Lannuzel. [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons