A global focus at Johnson
Preparing MBA students to take on leadership roles in industries ranging from financial services to consumer products, and from digital apps to consulting and marketing, means providing them with the tools and smart decision-making skills key to navigating effectively in a global ecosystem.
Many members of Johnson's faculty are actively engaged in research around the world. Professor Andrew Karolyi, faculty director of our Emerging Markets Institute and an internationally known scholar of investment management who specializes in the study of international financial markets, conducts ongoing research regarding the monetary policies and corporate governance practices of emerging markets. In this issue, he shares his views on what emerging market leaders could do to "dampen down excessive capital flow volatility" (see Vantage Point).
Johnson's Emerging Markets Institute (EMI) supports Johnson faculty and PhD candidates' emerging markets research on topics ranging from Islamic finance to Peru's mining industry. This fall, EMI held its third conference on Latin America in New York City, "Innovation in Latin America." At Sage Hall, EMI hosts a steady stream of guest speakers who keep our students informed about myriad aspects of doing business in a global ecosystem. When Walmart's Beth Keck was at Johnson in October, she emphasized the retail giant's flexibility in adjusting to local conditions as well as the diverse talents of its multidisciplinary teams as key to successful market entries in countries around the world.
Myriad factors around the world are bringing about shifts in global supply chains — a phenomenon tracked by our own Vishal Gaur, professor of operations management at Johnson, who has led manufacturing forums for senior executives at Johnson both this year and last. He and many alumni involved in supply chain management share their views and experience in this issue's cover story, "Coming Home?"
At Johnson, we know that the best way for students to gain knowledge and internalize a true understanding of how to conduct business in a wide variety of countries and cultures is to actually experience it, first-hand. Johnson students engage in international experiences that teach them how to make intelligent, informed business decisions, and formulate strategic business plans that take into account local regulations, preferences, and points of view. They also gain first-hand experience in negotiating the successful implementation of their ideas and approach, while remaining alert to the importance of recognizing cultural differences, customs, and styles of communication.
Johnson MBA students gain global experience in a variety of ways: through international study trips, student exchanges, internships, and global projects that involve forming consulting teams, holding regular meetings with clients, and traveling to the country where clients are based. For example, last spring a Sustainable Global Enterprise Immersion team of four students traveled to Northeastern India to assess the viability of a global pharmaceutical company's plan to bring diabetes awareness, education, and treatment to semi-rural areas of India (Fieldwork for SGE Immersion in India).. Over the summer, Amanda Wu, MBA '14, did an internship with a high-tech firm in São Paulo, Brazil, an experience she says gave her the "opportunity to be independent, to learn about a new culture, and to push [herself] beyond boundaries (Ser Brasileira (Being Brasilian))."
Johnson strives to achieve diversity in its student body, and we are proud that our Class of 2015 is the most internationally diverse class, with 28 percent of the students representing 31 countries. That means our students are exposed to different cultural norms and points of views in all their interactions with fellow students. Our Cornell-Queen's Executive MBA program includes students from across the Americas, including boardrooms in Canada, Mexico, and Colombia. All our international students soon become alumni like you, and through thousands of alumni the whole world over, Johnson's reach is international.
We are proud of Johnson's reach and reputation, and we aim to increase our global presence. While we have partnerships and certificate programs with foreign universities, this fall Johnson's faculty unanimously endorsed a proposal to move forward on negotiating with a major Chinese university to offer a unique degree program in China that will establish Johnson's leadership as a global innovator of business education. We look forward to providing you with updates about this soon.
Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean