From January 7-18, 2019, the Center for Global Business at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business hosted the 19th annual global immersion study tour for 36 graduate students from longtime Maryland Smith partner, RMIT University. The annual program includes two weeks of site visits to various industry partners around the region, seminars conducted by Smith School faculty, excursions to national and local cultural sites, and an introduction to higher education in the U.S.
The program began with a welcome from Rebecca Bellinger, executive director of Smith’s Center for Global Business. “It is an honor and pleasure every year to host the RMIT students,” said Bellinger. “A key component of our mission at the Center for Global Business is bringing the world to the Smith School, and partnering with other institutions on these types of student programs not only achieves this but also increases international understanding of U.S. business culture, which in turn could lead to increased investment and trade with the U.S. in the future."
Highlights of the program included site visits to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations faculty in York, PA, and the Stanley Black and Decker facility in Towson, MD. These site visits enhanced the students’ understanding of U.S. and global business trends and allowed them the opportunity to connect concepts from the classroom with real-life applications.
Of the program, one RMIT student, Xavier Fuller (EMBA), said, “It would be difficult for me to select one lecture or experience (as the single most valuable) given the quality of the whole tour. However, the comments from Professor Krapfel about the prevalence of society’s tendency to segregate into ideological groups, creating self-confirming belief systems with limited capacity to engage with other viewpoints, resonated with challenges I believe we are seeing in Australia and globally. It was uplifting to hear Professor Neta Moye tackle this issue, describing the path forward for the aspiring leader. Developing adaptable and thoughtful leaders will be key to us all achieving shared sustainable outcomes in the constantly changing global environment.”
Paul Cerotti, director of global tours and the master of commerce program at RMIT, shared, “Our time abroad in Washington DC and the greater DC area, was filled with knowledge, a broader global mindset, and a constant questioning of what it means to be American and in turn global citizens. There were sensational friendships formed, lots of laughs with our peers and teachers, while also creating lifelong learnings that go beyond shaping the future of our careers and businesses - but will always be great memories of a personally rewarding study trip abroad. UMD will always remain in the hearts and minds of each and every student. Thank you and we are all looking forward to number 20 in 2020.”
The program is just one of the facets of Maryland Smith’s longtime partnership with RMIT. Students at either institution can participate in the semester exchange program. To learn more about the other partnerships maintained by Maryland Smith, please visit the partnership website.
— Santiago Luna, Center for Global Business