IMBAs in the Big Apple and Beyond
Upon returning from our 5-week Asian Odyssey, the Intercontinental MBA Pioneers walked with the Spring graduates, but have one more quarter to degree completion. This final summer quarter began with a few weeks of online classes and continued with a one-week Finance intensive in New York City. For several students this was a first trip to New York. The newness was less complicated than our previous residencies, as it involved what we now consider a short flight (much less than our previous 10 to 15 hour airline journeys), no visas, no need to clear customs, no new currency exchanges and mostly spoken English that we could understand.
This cosmopolitan city is a convergence of all we have learned to date. Our visits to the New York Mercantile Exchange, MSCI, and the offices of Oppenheimer and Company reinforced our understanding of the influence Emerging Markets have on the world economy and the investment community. Particularly notable and encouraging to me was the thoughtful and in-depth research that goes into making investment decisions. As a consumer researcher, I was both pleased and relieved to see that such research began with consumer needs and demand as well as a clear understanding of the company’s business model. As a bonus, we got to visit some beautiful offices with spectacular views of the city.
In their Finance class the students at first struggled with and then gained insight into the complicated world of derivatives, futures and options. New vocabulary crept into their repertoire. Beyond the simple “Bull” and “Bear” and “long” and “short”, they became facile with “the long butterfly”, “the synthetic”, “the box” and “the serial”. This sparked interest in a new field for some; others would not work in this field, but can now understand it.
The city itself was a feast for the eyes as well as our taste buds. We stayed at the Roosevelt Hotel in midtown near the historic Grand Central Station and bustling Times Square. Tasty food of every ethic variety was available and the dilemma was what to enjoy during our short stay. We had a final group dinner at Barbetta, a historic Italian eatery on Restaurant Row. Our waiter Eduardo entertained us with stories of famous people he had service at our table, including the Clintons who had recently celebrated an event there. Since most of us were from Chicago, he asked us to tell President Obama to dine there. We promised to mention this next time we see him.
Our next and final residency will be in Chicago. The students will spend four weeks in class at our Water Tower Campus completing their capstone and final courses. Those not from this city will stay in the nearby dormitory, while locals will commute from home. In a short time our IMBA students will complete their degree requirements and move onto their careers. During their year-long process, they have grown into knowledgeable business professionals and savvy world travelers, as well as formed lasting relationships with each other and I hope with me. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with this group of intelligent, thoughtful and lively young people. As I monitor their degree completion, I am preparing for our next cohort who will join the program in mid-August. Stay tuned for the details of this next group of international adventuring MBA students.