This study program will include visits to businesses and government organizations and lectures from European specialists. The seminar will cover a broad range of topics, including macro economic policy, European integration, finance, marketing and communication, international trade, and business culture. The European Field Seminar will introduce students to current issues firms face in the European environment. Introduction of a single European currency, increased emphasis on privatization of traditionally state-owned corporations and a growing influence of the European Union institutions are examples that are changing the European competitive landscape.
You will travel to The Netherlands, Belgium, France and Hungry for two weeks. In order to gain an appreciation of the new European environment (including the new member states), we will visit the European Commission as well as a national agency that advises both government and companies regarding the European economy. We will also visit prominent firms in the private sector, both in the new and old economy, in the industrial, agricultural and service sectors.
Consequently, this seminar should appeal to a broad segment of the MBA population.
- European Business Customs and Manners by Mary Murray Bosrock, (2006), Meadowbrook
- The European Union by John Pinder & Simon Usherwood, 2nd Edition (2008), Oxford University Press, USA
|Tuition (3 cr. + registration fee)||$3975|
|Meals not covered||$500**|
|Incidentals during program||$400**|
** Estimates based on past years
- *Program Fee Includes:
- 12 nights lodging — double occupancy,
all transportation from Amsterdam to Budapest
(rail, bus, air to Budapest, etc.)
3 or more dinners.
Cost of regular BU tuition is not included in the program fee.
At most visits in Europe, business attire is de rigueur. Pack accordingly!
Each participant is expected to keep a journal during this trip. While the journal is your own and will not be reviewed by the professor, it is a key source of information gathering and reflections. Your daily logs and field notes will prove quite useful for your group presentation (see below) and your final paper (also see below)
- Pre-visit research brief and Presentation 15%
- Participation during Program 35% (while in Europe and in Boston classes)
- Group Wrap up Discussion 15% (the last day in Europe)
- Final Research and Reflection Paper 35% (by end of summer I)
Pre-visit research brief
During our first class period (May 4, 2012), each seminar participant will be assigned a research topic. The topic will typically be a company we will visit, an institution, or a current European issue. Your job is to research your topic (make sure to footnote your sources in the brief, and make sure to have more sources that a few websites!) and prepare a 2-page memo (12 font, 1.5 spacing) (plus one page of appendix if needed) describing relevant background and current problems/opportunities/tensions etc. You can use bullets as you see fit. The goal of the brief is to insure that every participant is fully prepared before each visit, so that greater value added can be obtained. On your assigned presentation day, you will bring a copy of the brief for each participant and the professor (total 23 copies). At the end of the class, all of us will have a full dossier that can be taken on the road and used before each visit.
Group Wrap up Discussion
I will form 4 teams 5 (to be announced by May 11th). Each team will be responsible for animating a wrap up discussion on our last day in Europe. You should decide on your topic, but I will consult with you to help you narrow its focus. The topic should meet the following criteria:
- A current issue that is faced by European companies, foreign businesses doing business in Europe, or European countries/institutions.
- A topic that can provide meaningful takeaways for the seminar participants.
- Typically, the topic should be broad enough to involve more that just one business – however, please feel free to base your discussion on specific case studies, examples or situations.
- Resolution on the topic should still be pending and multiple perspectives should prevail. This will insure a richer discussion.
- Make sure that you can draw on your two weeks of visits in order to add value to the discussion.
I would advise each team to do some basic research on their topic prior to the trip, and then you can build on your understanding of the issue throughout our two weeks in Europe. During the seminar, I will be available to meet with each team and help you shape your discussion topic. For the presentation, you will have 25 minutes total. (This includes no more that 5-10 minutes of talking by the team over the course of the 25 minutes – the bulk of the discussion should come from the class.) You can decide how you wish to run this discussion. Do not use PowerPoint or have slides! Creativity is great, but content, depth of analysis, ability to make sense of complexity are key – Avoid clichés! You will be evaluated on your ability to integrate perspectives (from readings you did, visits we will have made etc.), provide a synthesis and wrap-up around an issue, lead a discussion, and finally provide some structure and perspective on the issue in question.
Final Research and Reflection Paper
Following the seminar completion each one of you is required to complete a final paper. This is a 10-page maximum (1 inch margins, font 12, double spacing) research and reflection paper. You should select a topic that is close to your heart or career. There is no formal pre-screening of your topic (but you can bounce off ideas if you wish). Your paper should discuss how this course experience has (1) informed you on the issue at hand, (2) changed some of your perspectives, or confirmed them!, (3) confirmed or disconfirmed some of your pre-trip expectations with respect to Europe and European Business. In many ways one can sum up this as a “What have I learned?” paper. However, this is not a journal. This is an integrative paper, with content reflexive of your experience, but also published sources. As such, make sure to have a significant variety of sources and perspectives represented throughout your paper. The sources can of course include: introspective self-assessments, field notes you took in your journal, books, relevant articles, white papers, websites etc. As appropriate and needed, make sure to footnote all of your sources in the paper. You will be graded not on your opinion, but rather on your ability to provide an informed discussion that goes beyond clichés and stereotypes, as well as the depth of your analysis and your ability to reflect and integrate knowledge.
Schedule: USA Component
|May 4||Boston||9 AM–12 noon||Readings:
|May 11||Boston||9 AM-12 PM||
|By July 1st, 2011||Boston||Final Paper Due.
Electronic submission is fine.