The Asia-Pacific region is a key player in the world of business, so to have the opportunity to better understand the way it works could be career-making. Griffith University MBA students who undertook the Asia-Pacific Tour elective recently got to experience exactly that.
The Study Tour course involves a week-long journey to a partner university where the cohort participated in a range of activities to broaden their understanding of local customs and culture. Pauline Mason says she found the course an invaluable addition to her postgraduate degree.
“The most beneficial part for me was how the trip broadened my understanding of the Chinese cultural context. I deal with numerous partners in the Asia-Pacific region in my role as a Marketing Executive, so it will really help me move forward in my career.
“The Study Tour is an excellent opportunity to broaden your perspective of doing business in the Asia-Pacific region and learn a range of other cross-cultural skills that will provide invaluable in any business, in any country. The tour is the perfect mix of theory and practical application with industry site visits providing and in-depth perspective on the opportunities available for trade with this region,” she continues. “As business opportunities continue to increase in the Asia-Pacific region, the skills we learnt will only become more valuable in the future.”
As part of their studies, the group took part in industry visits in Guangzhou to study businesses’ evolution into the modern marketplace, and speak with the people instrumental in their success. They also took the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture, explore the sights and experience the famous food culture of which the locals are so proud.
Lloyd Eley-Smith chose the Tour elective because he wanted hands-on global experience. “I was going to learn more about visiting the country and experiencing the business culture first hand than I would have from home.”
He says he found the whole experience extremely worthwhile. “For me the most beneficial things were our visits to local workplaces and seeing the different attitudes to how business was conducted and portrayed to visitors. This was very different to what we were expecting to see coming from an Australian experience, showing a lot more formality and less production.
“On a more personal level, coming from the online degree, it was great to meet and spend time with some other students face to face and see that there really are people on the other end,” he says.
MBA Director Associate Professor Chris Fleming has hosted the tour on two occasions – Seoul in 2017 and Guangzhou/Hong Kong in 2017 – and knows the impact it can have on students’ study and work. “The MBA Asia-Pacific Study Tour elective is designed to enable MBA students to develop their understanding of doing business in the Asia-Pacific region,” he explains. “The week-long Study Tour gives students a first-hand experience in-country while visiting local businesses, meeting local trade development bodies and undertaking academic lectures at our partner Universities. The trip is enhanced with the addition of cultural tours and activities.
“The Study Tour is a wonderful learning experience and gives our students great insights into doing business in Asia,” he says.