Innovator Article

Journey into the Future: Czech Republic & Hungary

Image of Journey into the Future: Czech Republic & HungaryImage of Journey into the Future: Czech Republic & HungaryImage of Journey into the Future: Czech Republic & HungaryImage of Journey into the Future: Czech Republic & HungaryImage of Journey into the Future: Czech Republic & HungaryImage of Journey into the Future: Czech Republic & HungaryImage of Journey into the Future: Czech Republic & HungaryImage of Journey into the Future: Czech Republic & HungaryImage of Journey into the Future: Czech Republic & HungaryImage of Journey into the Future: Czech Republic & HungaryImage of Journey into the Future: Czech Republic & HungaryImage of Journey into the Future: Czech Republic & Hungary

What can be learned from countries that have travelled the rocky road from Soviet-style communism toward a market economy—in two short decades?

Seeking answers, last summer four Bay Area Working Professional MBA students visited the Czech Republic and Hungary with Wil Agatstein, executive director for the Center for Entrepreneurship. The School’s International Study Practicum includes 10 weeks of intensive classroom preparation and culminates in a trip.

The biggest lesson learned 0n the trip is that history matters more than we understand. Time and again, a seemingly simple question to our host would open up an hour-long discussion about the issue, its history — and why it mattered to them and should matter to us. –Wil Agatstein

The team learned about innovation in the global economy, culture and capitalism, the impact of the international financial crisis and the nature of its recovery.

“The best time to visit Central Europe would have been 20 years ago, right after the fall of the Berlin Wall—or what the people call ‘the change,’” says Agatstein. “The second best time is today. We saw first-hand the changes, improvements, growth and problems that have occurred as a result of this seachange, as well as these countries’ experience ascending into the European Union during these turbulent times.”

The Real thing, Czech Style

Purchasing supervisor Richard Sebesta gave a short presentation and a fascinating tour of Coca-Cola Hellenic’s bottling facility, showing us the process from start to finish, from the making of the standard two-liter bottles to their contents- everything from Coke to juices, energy drinks and more. We also learned how the various bottlers share product and capacity – even as they compete. It was a great lesson on European economics.

It’s a Wonderful Life

Alumnus Aaron Burda ‘07 moved to Prague as International Operations director form Wunderbar, a leading manufacturer of food and drink dispensers. While the days of ex-pats leading large, multinational firms in the Czech Republic may be over, Burda said, there is plenty of opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses.

U.S. Ambassador Visit

The U.S. Ambassador to HUngary is a local! Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis is a California native and was living in Sacramento prior to being appointed by President Obama and sworn in by Secretary of State Clinton in January 2010. Under Kounalakis’s leadership, the embassy emphasizes youth education programs that promote tolerance, peace and equal rights.
-Jennifer Hsu Barrett

“Ekonomie dobra a zla” (The Economics of Good and Evil)

We met with Jan Kruzik, the bank’s relationship manager, and Tomáš Sedláček, chief macroeconomic strategist at ČSOB, the Czech Republic’s largest commercial bank. A former economic advisor to President Václav Havel and other top officials, Sedláček has been influential in his country’s fiscal consolidation and tax, pension and healthcare reform. He believes the current economic situation is only a “crisis” when compared to the growth spike that immediately preceeded it. Watch for the English translation of his bestseller, The Economics of Good and Evil.
-Stacey Hagen

Flight into the Future

At the Aero Vodochody factory, we saw Sikorsky helicopters being built—and learned how a U.S. and a Czech company work together to build a complex product. We received a powerful education on the transition that manufacturing companies traveled in the 20th century. During the Cold War, Aero built more than 10,000 MIG fighters and employed 10,000 people. After 1989, both the market and their suppliers evaporated. Today they have new suppliers – and new customers.
-Wil Agatstein

Culture Shock

Albany, N.Y.–based AMRI is a global drug discovery, development and manufacturing company. AMRI Hungary is fully integrated with the firm’s U.S. and Asia locations, allowing customers to efficiently move projects from discovery to development to commercialization. The new Hungarian facility includes 3,000 square feet of 120 chemical hoods and scale-up lab space. This is AMRI’s only international acquisition; other sites were built from the ground up. U.S. ownership—with its audits, performance appraisals, deadlines, reporting and client expectations—has brought considerable culture shock.
-Ashley Shah

Comments

Post new comment

4974400595 » If you have a visual disability, please type the numbers two one three three into the box. Your submission will be promptly reviewed by a validation service and sent to the site administrators.
By proving you are not a machine, you help us prevent spam and keep the site secure.

Commands

Twitter Feed

Loading tweets...

News Release

UC Davis Part-Time MBA Ranked in Nation’s Top 9%
Fourth Consecutive Year among U.S News & World Report's Premier Programs

Image of UC Davis Part-Time MBA Ranked in Nation’s Top 9%

(Davis, CA) — The UC Davis Part-Time MBA program offered in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area is ranked among the top 9% in the U.S., according to U.S. News & World Report’s latest graduate business school rankings.

At No. 29, this is the fourth consecutive year the UC Davis Part-Time MBA program is among the top AACSB International-accredited part-time MBA programs surveyed. This year, there were 323 part-time MBA programs surveyed.

News Release

UC Davis Full-Time MBA Ranked among Nation’s Premier Programs for 20th Consecutive Year
MBA Programs among Top 10% in U.S.
Record Salary and Bonus

Image of UC Davis Full-Time MBA Ranked among Nation’s Premier Programs for 20th Consecutive Year

(Davis, CA) — The UC Davis Graduate School of Management’s Full-Time MBA program is ranked among the premier business schools in the nation for the 20th consecutive year, according to U.S. News & World Report’s latest graduate business school rankings released today.

U.S. News’ latest ranking places the Full-Time MBA program at No. 48, placing it among the top 10% of the 464 Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International’s accredited full-time MBA programs surveyed.

Key statistics from the School’s Full-Time MBA ranking include:

News Release

UC Davis Graduate School of Management partners with Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Labs to drive technologies from lab to market

Image of UC Davis Graduate School of Management partners with Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Labs to drive technologies from lab to market

(Davis, Calif.) – With a joint goal of speeding the transfer of new technologies from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace, the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories have announced a new partnership for researchers to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

Spotlight Story

Vickie Sherman MBA 13 Finds Her Passion, Her Career—and Herself

Image of Vickie Sherman MBA 13 Finds Her Passion, Her Career—and Herself

What opportunities, decisions, events have shaped your professional life?

My career path has been a climb across a jungle gym rather than a tangent up a corporate ladder. As a child, I used to thumb through the three-inch JCPenney catalogue, picking out the professional women who I would grow to be. I wanted to rule the world from a corner office in a suit and heels. I wanted to shed my humble origins and become Corporate Barbie.

Spotlight Story

MBA Student Consultants Make an IMPACT
Projects Put Business Needs Front and Center

Image of MBA Student Consultants Make an IMPACT

Agilent Technologies’ Electronic Measurement Group is a $3.6 billion business that over the past decade has seen a dramatic shift in its customer base from U.S., and Western European customers to predominantly Asia-based customers. Today, the majority of the division’s revenues are generated outside of the U.S., with an increasing concentration in China.