With a short pause between the international modules in the WHU MBA Program, 2022 kicked off with a pilot module in the vibrant city of Dubai, UAE. Three groups of students traveled consecutively to the cosmopolitan metropolis over three weeks, with a timetable packed with academic insights, cultural experiences, and company visits. We catch up with the students to learn more about their experiences.
"Participating in this international module helped us prepare to do business with and in other countries," says Part-Time MBA student Pia Müller. "It broke down cultural barriers when interacting with people from different backgrounds. Interacting with those working and living in the UAE is a unique learning experience."
The three weeks started with networking and connecting among the cohorts by opening with a welcome dinner with a desert safari. "The welcome event was a perfect opportunity to mix with our classmates," says Part-Time MBA student Ewa Kula. "In the late afternoon, we left for the desert safari enjoying the sunset, followed by a delicious dinner, belly-dancing and fire-breathing. It was an experience I'll never forget! The group dynamic was just right – everyone was friendly and supportive. We had a great time, and I enjoy these opportunities to mingle with people from other MBA cohorts and dive into discussions about diverse topics."
"These are crucial topics that prepare us to help society and take responsibility as future leaders."
The schedule began with a visit to the Dubai Expo 2020, intending to broaden the students' perspectives and connect the visit to the themes of innovation and responsible leadership. A visit to the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) helped the students connect theory with practical application, with lectures on social entrepreneurship to economics.
"I am grateful for the kindness and hospitality we received at MBRSG," says Pia. "We enjoyed enthusiastic keynote speeches, and I learned a lot during those lectures. We discussed cutting-edge topics such as sustainability, responsible business, and critical thinking.
Multinational corporation Henkel offered additional practical insights as a company conducting business in the region and the importance of adapting products to specific cultures. Students explored the local market further with visits to the Department of Economy and Tourism, Emaar Properties, and the International Humanitarian City. Unique to the students in the second and third weeks was a visit to the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park Innovation Center. The center promotes and supports Dubai's Clean Energy Strategy to transform 75% of Dubai's total power output to clean energy by 2050.
"I decided to pursue an MBA to gain confidence in myself again and step outside my comfort zone."
"I believe the business world and working environment will change tremendously due to COVID-19," says Ewa. "Some jobs may not exist anymore in the future, and I think it is important to stay ahead of the job market and constantly learn. Having an international perspective is advantageous. As we live in a connected and fast-paced environment, a limited mindset can only be detrimental to success. The opportunity to speak with people from different countries and cultures broadens your horizons and offers new perspectives."
With the success of the pilot international modules behind them, the WHU MBA Program is planning its next global module in New York in cooperation with the Columbia Business School for the Part-Time MBA students.