FASTTRACK: MBA IN
10 MONTHS - INTERNATIONAL STUDY TOUR I got on a plane (for nine hours), took a lot of trains (miraculously, I didn’t miss any), and saw some pretty sweet automobiles (BMW is still my favourite). This spring, I had the opportunity to study in Europe for two months as part of my FastTrack MBA program. Though an international study tour is a mandatory part of my program, telling me I was going to have to travel was like telling a child they had to eat candy. International travel has always proven to be an eye-opening experience, and this spring’s travel opportunity proved to be no exception. I spent the majority of my time in Germany and France, and gained a better feel for what it would be like to conduct business in the European Union. Starting with the School’s European Study Tour in Family Business, my first two weeks were spent moving from France (Strasbourg) to Germany (Koblenz and Munich), with a little bit of Austria (Salzburg) thrown in for good measure. We were constantly on the move as we packed an inordinate amount of activity, and walking, into a two-week period. We took coach buses to tour the impressive facilities of Merck Pharmaceutical, rode the local tram to see the infamous glockenspiel in Munich’s main square and relaxed on gondolas drifting over vineyards after completing a beautiful weekend hike. Europe’s transportation infrastructure impressed us in that it was often faster and cheaper to get from point A to point B by taking public transportation, versus a car. Its cities were also very “walkable” with dedicated pedestrian-only zones, engaging streetscapes, and great window-shopping (the local bakeries and pastry shops were my favourites). Following the European Study Tour, I ventured out by myself to complete two additional MBA courses at the School of
ALBERTA SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Business’ partner universities (WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management in Koblenz, Germany and EDHEC Business School in Lille, France). During these four weeks, I met fellow FastTrack students - Jason Pomedli, Yue Fan MBA students who & Nella at Moet Chandon in Epernay, France. had flown from around the world to attend classes and learnt first-hand about what it is like to conduct business on a global stage. International backgrounds and languages proved to be challenging at times, but I was amazed at how far facial expressions, hand gestures, and laughter could go in learning to communicate across cultural barriers. Fortunately, among all the study, I did have some days to enjoy Europe at a more leisurely pace as well. During this time, we took up one of the best ways to explore a new city: riding bikes! Admittedly, I have been labeled as being somewhat of a menace on two wheels, but, if I was able to navigate and survive the streets of Paris on my rental bike, I figure I must not be as bad as people say I am. Two months in Europe didn’t seem long enough. We spent our last night in Terminal 1 of the Frankfurt Airport (think Tom Hanks in “The Terminal”) and, before we knew it, we were already back home in Edmonton. Aufwiedersehen; bis nächsten mal! Nella & Harry Chandler biking in Strasbourg, France.