MBA global engagement experience sends students to Vietnam

MBA students and faculty participated in an experiential course in Southeast Asia during January.

Elon University MBA students learned about the economic, legal, political and cultural environment for doing business in Vietnam through a recent 10-day travel experience in Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City.

Students in the International Business course met with executives at HanesBrands, ScanCom, VF Corp. – Timberland, Austin Home Interiors, Piaggio Motor Cars, and a family medical practice in Vietnam. They also worked with representatives from Plan International, an aid organization that provides programs and support to impoverished girls in northern and central Vietnam.

"After speaking with Plan International Vietnam Director Sharon Kane during the Hanoi visit, the students are developing recommendations on how Plan may address the strategic challenges they face,” said Robert Moorman, Frank S. Holt Jr. Professor of Business Leadership. “Students are developing recommendations on metrics Plan may use to track program success, strategies for connecting with Vietnamese and multinational companies interested in supporting Plan's mission, and methods for networking with other nonprofits who work with children-in-need."

In addition to company visits, students engaged in a variety of cultural experiences such as visiting Halong Bay, one of the most famous natural landmarks in Vietnam, and several of Ho Chi Min City’s most impressive cultural sites, including the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum.

"Not only did this trip contribute to my growth and development as a business professional but also as a global citizen,” said MBA student Katherine Kryder. “The opportunity to study abroad was paramount to my Elon experience. It will continue to inform my coursework in the MBA program and my professional career path."

The travel experience and course were led Moorman and Haya Ajjan, associate professor of management information systems. 

“Both Professor Ajjan and I were very pleased to see how well the students engaged our business hosts and strived to learn as much as they could from them,” Moorman said.

“My goal was to freefall out of my comfort zone and embrace all that this trip would involve,” said MBA student Reed LaPlante. “Vietnam and Elon did not disappoint – engaged learning at its finest, from textbooks to factory tours. My greatest take away: No matter what the political environment, business climate, etc. work can be done and completed in the right way; not only for all employees involved but for the end consumer.”

Learn more about the Elon MBA program here.