The Kent MBA class of 2012-13 crossed the Channel on Sunday 24th March, 2013 for what turned out to be an exhausting but very fulfilling few days in Paris and Brussels.
On the way to Brussels we stopped at Bruges, the historic city centre famous for its lace, where we stretched our legs and had a bite to eat. We then continued on our journey which brought us to Brussels just in time for dinner and a rest.
Our packed programme in Brussels consisted of talks by Dr Tom Casier, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, who gave a detailed summary and history of the European Union and conducted a simulation exercise where pairs of students were encouraged to take on national roles of the EU and negotiate agreements as nation states and an afternoon session with Prof Roger Vickerman who delivered a session on the current Eurozone crisis. On Tuesday the 26th of March, Dr Margriet Krijtenburg, Senior lecturer at the Academy of European Studies & Communication Management and member of the research group on European Integration of The Hague University explored the original vision of a unified Europe by Robert Schuman, the main architect of European unification. The students were intrigued and much discussion ensued.
Our programme in Paris was packed with lectures from the UKTI (United Kingdom Trade & Industry) informing the students about how UK trades with France. There were also presentations from the United Nations on sustainable development. With several students coming from the African continent, this discussion was relevant on many levels; Edith Joan Mukasa said, ‘I strongly believe I need to work hand in hand with the UN on sustainable development solutions in Africa. My agenda after the trip is to liaise with the UN and see how best I can contribute to the same. I intend to use my knowledge and skills, most of which I have acquired during my MBA studies at Kent Business School, to bring change in Africa, particularly Kenya, where I come from.‘
John Parkinson said ‘I appreciated the time spent away from the academic environment, with the opportunity to visit and experience first-hand, some of the remarkable monuments and sights of Brussels and Paris. I can speak on behalf of my class members when I say that the entire class enjoyed and benefited from the interaction, invaluable experience and exposure to the wide variety of high profile speakers and organisations.‘
Dr Pamela Yeow, the Deputy Director of the Kent MBA said ‘The Brussels-Paris study visit is one of the many highlights of our Kent MBA programme. We are pleased that the students have benefited from this experience and we look forward to greater involvement with these speakers and organisations.‘
Photographs from the trip can be viewed on facebook here.