January 31, 2002

Students from Australia and Poland Visit Smith School

The campus, the professors, the technology - 40 MBA and undergraduate business students from Australia and Poland are impressed by it all.

Coming from 110-degree temperatures in Australia, through heightened security (even shoe checks), 31 students from RMIT University (the former Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) and nine students from the Polish-American Center at the University of Lodz arrived in the United States in January for a two-week academic study program at the Smith School.

This is the second year that RMIT students have participated in the program, sponsored by the Smith Schools Center for Global Business and initiated by Martin Gannon, the centers director and professor of management and organization. This year, Executive MBA students from the University of Lodz joined them in a program started by Lee Preston, professor of logistics, business and public policy.

We hosted 42 RMIT students last year; it was the first university study trip among Australian universities to the U.S., said Gannon. It was so successful that RMIT is now duplicating the model in China with Fudan University and in Korea with the Korea Advanced Institute for Technology and Science.

One of RMITs strategic plans is globalization, but it is difficult for Australian students to study in the U.S. for an entire semester due to the exchange rate, said Paul Cerotti, International Programs Coordinator at RMIT. This study trip gives them the chance to get into a different cultural setting at a low cost.

The program consists of lectures, field trips, and cultural tours. Topics covered by Smith professors included cross-cultural behavior, international marketing and negotiating, e-marketing, and supply chain management with a demonstration in the Netcentricity Laboratory.

A trip to Black and Decker, organized for the second year by Matt DeFeo, vice president of training, recruiting, and sales services, was the highlight of the program for many students. The program also included visits to Marriott, the Australian Embassy, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Headquarters.

John Collyer (pictured left, right), a part-time MBA student at RMIT and national manager for Alsafe Saftey Industries Pty. Limited, said that the best part of the trip for him has been the lectures. He was especially impressed with the e-marketing seminar by Venky Shankar, Ralph J. Tyser Fellow and associate professor of marketing. Collyer called the lecture outstanding and noted that it was very helpful because his company is in the process of creating an e-business strategy. This is why I came here, to learn from these experts, he said.

Vinay Joseph (picture above, left), an undergraduate computer systems and business administrations student, said that the highlight for him was the demonstration on supply chain management in the Net Lab by Tom Corsi, co-director of the Supply Chain Management Center and professor of logistics, business and public policy. Ive been impressed with the technology, the infrastructure, and the in-depth knowledge base the professors have, said Joseph, who is on his first trip to the United States.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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