William & Mary Raymond A. Mason School of Business MBA students gained valuable insights into the issues and priorities shared by American and European businesses during their recent Global Business Immersion experience in Munich, Germany, and Innsbruck, Austria. Led by Associate Dean, MBA & Executive Programs Ken White, twenty students met with executives from several companies and organizations, including Riedel, Prinoth, SWARCO, The University of Innsbruck, IBM Watson, EY, and Sustainable Growth Associates.
During their visits, the MBA students were given tours of each business and engaged in thoughtful, insightful, and meaningful discussions with CEOs and other senior leaders. "It never ceases to amaze me the way businesses and their leaders open their doors for our students and tell it like it is when we visit," said White.
The issues discussed included innovation, artificial intelligence, team member recruitment and retention, and environmental sustainability, which were consistent with those faced by many American businesses. Of particular note were the conversations surrounding sustainability, which were especially rich and thought-provoking.
As MBA student Chelsea Higbea noted, the presentations on sustainability highlighted the need to focus on society's ability to sustain at our current consumption level and the dematerialization of the planet. "The concepts are something everyone had heard before, but how they were presented was impactful. A flourishing economy at the cost of the ecosystem is bad business, and it is not sustainable."
The Mason School's MBA program provides students with the opportunity to participate in two annual Global Business Immersion trips. These excursions take place in Asia during the Winter Break and Europe during the Spring Break. Through these immersive experiences, students have the unparalleled opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge and valuable insights into the global business landscape, allowing them to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities present in the business world.