Kent MBA Students Get Lesson in European Business, 1-5 April 2012

The Kent MBA at the University of Kent provides students with a compelling practical learning experience to broaden and sharpen their management skills for the challenging future business environment.  With this at the core of the programme, students embarked on a one week study tour of Brussels and Paris to interact with leading academics and practitioners on a mix of policy and practical issues facing the European Union.

The students were treated to visits of the University’s Brussels and Paris campuses.  At the Brussels campus Tom Casier, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Professor Roger Vickerman, Dean of the University of Kent (Brussels), spoke to the students about European Union policy issues and the state of the European Union economy whilst providing opportunity for group discussions about Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain as well as a negotiation session which simulated a real-life healthcare scenario.

The students also had the opportunity in Brussels to meet two high profile practitioners – David Demetrius, President of the European Management Development Institute and John Houston, Senior Partner with Kreab Gavin Anderson.  Students took this opportunity to engage in a lively debate and pose questions about policy and issues concerning this region.  Both speakers provided great insight, with David specializing in business and management consultancy of companies ranging from SMEs to large multinationals in both the manufacturing and service sectors and John drawing on his experiences as a senior public affairs consultant of one of the most prominent Brussels consultants in the financial services policy field.   John has advised several of the world’s largest companies and financial institutions on EU matters and was also a member of the cabinet of the European Commissioner responsible for financial services, a political journalist, a special advisor to the Foreign Secretary and the founding chairman of the European Public Affairs Consultancies Association.

The Paris leg of the tour continued to provide an impressive schedule for the students. In his session Rajendra Shirolé explored issues in spirituality and how they affect and effect business form, particularly the emergent micro-finance concept and IT outsourcing.  The last part of the tour gave the students an opportunity to visit Schlumberger – Europe Learning Center where Mostefa Laroussi, ELC Manager and Naceur Ghannem, IPM SPP Champion, discussed the IPM Project Management Approach. This was followed by a tour of the facilities with Oscar Anaya, ALS Training Manager and Zita Kasparian, Tarnawski CSV Training Manager where students were able to get a feel for life on a working oil-rig along with other exploration and reservoir management technologies.

The tour wasn’t all work, leaving students with time to ride on the famous Bateaux-Mouches on the River Seine, to visit the University’s Brussels and Paris campuses and a chance to explore both wonderful cities.

Rajendra Shirolé, Director of MBA Programmes commented “The visit to Brussels and Paris forms a key component for the Kent MBA student learning experience and provides them with in and out of class activities focusing on both policy and practice issues within the European Union.”

Professor John Mingers, Director of Kent Business School said, “The University of Kent continues to build on its reputation as the UK’s European university and further develop a network of international partnerships worldwide. Kent Business School values its relationships with academic and corporate partners and the Kent MBA Brussels and Paris visit is an excellent example of how students benefit from our strong European connections.”

Further information about the Kent MBA can be found at:
www.kent.ac.uk/kbs/programmes/kentmba

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