Spotlight Story

Immersed in the Culture: Robert Smiley Leads International Study Trips

Amid an Olympics-fueled frenzy and tension in Tibet, a group of 28 UC Davis MBA students from all three of the School’s programs recently joined Professor Robert Smiley for a 10-day tour of three nerve-centers of China’s red-hot economy.

After soaking up the culture, history and bustling growth in Beijing, the students hit the ground running in Shanghai and Hong Kong. They met with executives at 25 companies and organizations to learn firsthand about booming business and opportunities in the world’s most populous country.

The international study trips are a perfect supplement to students’ classroom education. These opportunities are a major advantage of our program. Students can be part of a small group led by a faculty member and learn in depth how other countries do business.–Professor Robert Smiley, Faculty Advisor, International Study Practicum

The highlights included exclusive executive briefings and behind-the-scenes tours at Shanghai General Motors, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, KMPG, Intel, and China Lighting and Power—plus some sightseeing in between.

Offered each spring and planned by students, the International Study Practicum opens a unique window onto the cultural differences, comparative advantages, international business practices and the value of building relationships—all lessons that will last a lifetime. In the past, students have traveled to Japan; Chile; Argentina and Brazil; Mexico; Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.