July 27, 2015
A recent study abroad trip to Greece drove home an emphasis on international business and cultural awareness for Drury MBA students.
Candida Deckard was one of about two dozen on the trip, which included interviewing business leaders face-to-face, meeting with locals and taking in cultural sights.
“Travel in general and seeing different cultures and ideas helps a person expand their views and become more well-rounded,” she says. “Having this as a part of the Drury MBA program added value for my career and my personal life.”
Deckard, human resources director at CNH Industrial Reman in Springfield, says she and her classmates couldn’t have asked for a more interesting setting as far as international business headlines go – they were in Greece as the country’s debt crisis continued to unfold. The crisis didn’t affect the trip, but it brought differences in business practices into sharp relief.
“It was definitely not the capitalist way of running a business,” Deckard says.
For example, they heard from the country’s largest power company that dozens of secretaries remained on the payroll despite not having defined jobs or a retraining program. In another example, a textile plant was denied permission by the government to reduce its workforce and cut costs – and the entire plant closed soon after.
They also heard about tax reform efforts from leaders of the American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and spoke to a number of small business owners. Historic and cultural sights were on the itinerary as well. Part of the trip was spent at the Drury Center in Aegina.
Studying abroad is a requirement of the program and it offers an experience one can’t get from a book or lecture, says program director Angie Adamick, who also went on this trip along with management professor Dr. Janis Prewitt.
“We believe the only way to really accomplish that is for students to experience another culture and have that interaction with people on the ground,” Adamick says. “It just changes the way they look at international business.”
Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations. A version of this story originally appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.