Breech MBA Program Celebrates China Trips in the Past Five Years

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More than one hundred students have experienced the final phase of the Drury Master of Business Administration program, a class which includes a trip to Beijing, China.

Now, MBA students, alumni, faculty, and mentors are invited to share their stories and memories of China for a celebration. The Breech School of Business, along with the Drury Alumni Association, is hosting “Great Times on the Great Wall” November 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event, at Parlor 88 on Republic Road, will commemorate China trips over the past five years.

Tickets for the event are $10 and can be purchased through the Alumni and Development office.

Experiences abroad

MBA graduates continue to reflect back on their memories of China and how their global experience affected them both professionally and personally.

For some of the students, exploring China itself was their favorite memory: the sights to see, the Great Wall, and the culture, included. But students also recall the challenge of the language barrier and discovering China for themselves.

MBA graduate, Clark Satterlee, looks back on his trip to China as a learning experience with language.

“Two of my greatest memories are the time spent at the Silk Market and a trip myself and three of my classmates made down to the inner city basketball courts,” Clark says. “At the Silk Market, most of the people knew some English and could talk with you. However, I spent a lot of time relying on non-vocal communication to really understand what was being said and make sure my communication was effective.”

Brian Williams, who now serves as Vice President, Business Development, of Cox Health, remembers parts of the trip that were unplanned.

“My favorite memory of the trip was the unstructured portions of the trip where different groups ventured off into uncharted venues. These venues ranged from the Silk Market to local restaurant establishments,” Brian explains, “Here is where several of life’s international lessons were learned.”

Students not only took home favorite memories, but also the things they learned. Today, graduates find that what they learned in China has carried over into their professional life in some way or another.
Clark, for example, uses his non-verbal communication skills he used in China to interact with other professionals.

“I realized at that point that you can communicate and connect with people on a deeper level through more than just words. Now in my professional life I have put this to use. I work with a couple hundred people, handling both business and IT related issues/processes/improvements,” Clark says. “While doing this, I spend a lot of time just interacting with people. Their words tell me some of what’s going on, but I’ve also learned to read their non-vocal communication to be more effective in dealing with them. This makes my job much easier and allows me to be successful when helping them out.”

Another graduate, Becky Bonner, uses her experience from the trip in her career by being able to discuss international market investments.

“We are constantly talking to our clients about the importance of having a portion of their investments in international markets and especially emerging markets as that is where the growth is going to be in the next five years,” Becky adds. “It helps to be able to tie in what I saw on our trip and what we discussed about the articles read prior to the trip.  And, I can't help but continue to read articles that I see regarding China.  Having been there just makes it seem more connected.  It truly is becoming a world market.”

Other students, like Brandon Adamick, also found a way to apply what they gathered during the China experience to their personal lives.

“The China trip has made me open my eyes, and I have started donating time and money much more than I used to. I enjoy donating to organizations worldwide that I feel have a good cause. I plan on contacting and helping these organizations in person when I am near their country on my travels,” Brandon explains. “I have trips planned to Botswana and Columbia in the next six months, and I look forward to really seeing the progress of the organizations I have donated to in both countries.”

Brian’s trip to China allowed him to grow on a more personal level as well after spending time with his fellow classmates.

“Because I was an older adult learner, I grew personally from the experience by interacting with my younger classmates,” Brian explains. “They challenged me to see things from the perspective of a different generation and in my case really two different generations. They challenged me to be better and to do better.”

For ticket and reservation information for the “Great Times on the Great Wall” event, contact Dr. Robin Sronce at rsronce@drury.edu or call 417-873-7438. For more information on the Drury MBA program, contact Ms. Angie Davis, Program Director, at adavis06@drury.edu or call 417-873-7612. Applications for the Drury MBA program are currently being accepted for classes starting on October 22 and classes starting in spring 2013.

Interview and article by Kaitlyn Schwers. Kaitlyn is a junior majoring in multimedia production and journalism.