News at Smith

Smith Students Explored the World in Winter 2019

Feb 07, 2019
Experiential / Reality-based Learning

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Undergraduate students at the Robert H. Smith School of Business have completed another successful cycle of the faculty-led short-term study abroad programs. This past winter semester, the Center for Global Business offered four programs that explored different topics in social entrepreneurship and innovation, accounting, and quality management across the globe.

“These short-term programs provide students with opportunities to apply a comparative international perspective to their business education and professional careers. They are just one way in which we are preparing our students to become global business leaders,” said Rebecca Bellinger, Executive Director, Center for Global Business

The program, Accounting’s Future, Present, and Past, led by Professor James McKinney and Greg Rafal, Assistant Director, Global Programs at the Center for Global Business, was in its fifth year. Students traveled to New York City, London, Paris, Florence, Sansepolcro, and Rome, visiting accounting firms and regulators. In Sansepolcro, Italy, students had an opportunity to learn about the story of Luca Pacioli, the founder of double-entry bookkeeping.

Social Entrepreneurship in the Contemporary South African Context is a program that introduced students to social enterprise in Cape Town. Led by Victor Mullins, Associate Dean, the Undergraduate Program and Jeanette Snider, Assistant Director, the Undergraduate Program, students visited Cape Town and immersed themselves in the field of social innovation. They visited locally-owned companies including Bo-Kaap, Macassar Pottery, and Hangberg Community. They toured Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the former maximum-security prison where the late Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years, and several other attractions to learn the history of apartheid and hear stories of rising above hardship to improve livelihoods. The program exposed students to various opportunities to design creative, sustainable processes towards social change using multiple learning strategies. 

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, led by Professor Oliver Schlake and Chris Rehkamp, Student Venture Program Manager, Dingman Center, gave students the opportunity to explore the contrasting business landscapes of southern France and Morocco. They met with businesses and entrepreneurs in Casablanca, Rabat, and Nice. This experiential program, with site visits to incubators and innovation centers across two nations, enabled students to gain a comparative perspective on entrepreneurship and innovation in a variety of industries. Hannah Shraim, junior management major, had this to say about her experience, “the beauty of this program was the opportunity to witness very unique entrepreneurial approaches with cultural and sociopolitical contexts at the forefront of the experience. The insights I gained and memories that were made are a priceless souvenir from my time abroad.”

Students got a deep-dive into the role of culture in Japan’s success in quality management in the program, From Quality Past to Automated Future, led by Pamela Armstrong, Clinical Professor, and David Ashley, QUEST Honors Instructor. The program combined company visits as well as an exploration of Japanese culture. Students visited the Toyota plant and a Japanese university to learn about what it is like to be a Japanese student. They also had fun learning taiko drumming, a traditional Japanese instrument.

After their return to College Park, all short-term study abroad students at the Smith School will relive their experiences together and take part in the 2019 Global Showcase where they will demonstrate their learning through a poster exhibition. Everyone in the Smith community is welcome to attend the Global Showcase on February 14

For more information about study abroad programs, visit the Center for Global Business website: http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/global.

By Ha Le, Graduate Assistant, Center for Global Business

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 part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty 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.