Few people would turn down a chance to relax and enjoy Key Largo. But for each new group of students in the Master of International Business (MIB) program, Key Largo is a kickoff, not a chance to kick back. They start the program with Introduction to International Business, a two-day seminar that emphasizes teambuilding, case study techniques and career preparation. It also includes an overview of the kinds of issues they will face as participants in the international business arena. Usually offered each fall and spring, the staff organized a summer session May 30-31, 2009 because of high enrollment.
“For many students, the seminar, which we improve each time we offer it, is the most memorable aspect of the program,” said Tomislav Mandakovic, associate dean of the Chapman Graduate School and faculty director of the MIB.
Alumni from one seminar return each semester.
The seminar proved so memorable that the group that participated in the fall of 2008 has attended each subsequent one.
Though she didn’t recognize the impact right away, Brenda Folch came to appreciate the value of the event very quickly. She noted that in the short period of time, the students learned how to work as a team, acquired valuable tools in order to solve and perform case analyses, gained a better understanding of the program and got to know the staff and some of the professors as well as the students.
Despite the fact that the students don’t have much time to relax, the remote location is essential to the event’s success.
“We take them away from every other interaction so they can work together and be with their professors almost full time,” Mandakovic said. “No phones, no cell phones, no email.”