Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 18: The Last Day!

Chancel vault and window, Christ Church Cathedral Today was the last day of D301. Most students are leaving tomorrow morning. Some of them are going directly back to the U.S., while others are taking the opportunity to travel more through Europe.

This morning's class consisted of group presentations in which the students compared and contrasted various multi-domestic companies, while laying out a case for why the selected companies are considered multi-domestic. The groups really put together some informative presentations on companies in the chocolate, beverage, banking, and retail industries.

It's been a good day. The weather has been nice (s0 far), and the students seem relieved to have submitted all of their assignments. After class we trekked across Oxford for a group photo at Christ Church. Then everyone had a few hours to either do some last-minute exploring or finish their journals. We're all looking forward to tonight's closing dinner at a local restaurant.

It's difficult to believe the first Kelley in Oxford program is coming to a close. We've been blessed with a group of dedicated, engaged, and fun-loving students who not only represented Kelley well, but also enjoyed spending time together. We've been equally fortunate to benefit from the leadership of Dr. McDougall. Her knowledge and experience in the subject area, combined with her flexibility, easy-going personality, classroom management expertise, and tireless work made this an outstanding experience for everyone.

While this entry concludes the Kelley in Oxford 2009 blog, the program will not be forgotten. Planning is already underway for next summer, and we hope to offer another outstanding experience to even more students in 2010. Will you be a part of it?

Kelly in Oxford 2009; D301 class at Christ Church, Oxford, U.K.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 17

Magdalen College Bell Tower, as seen from the Botanic Garden.
It was a rainy morning in Oxford, and cold all day. Exam Two was this morning. I don't envy these students - they've covered a lot of ground in less than three weeks. They are certainly earning their credits! Following the exam, we were visited by Lea Borkenhagen, the Head of Sustainable Livelihoods Strategy for Oxfam International. Oxfam, based in Oxford, is a confederation of 13 organizations working around the world to address poverty, hunger, human rights, and disaster relief.

Oxfam was one of the first NGOs to begin working with the private sector to address many of these issues. Oxfam recognizes that business is necessary to lift economies out of poverty, and that collaborations are necessary to affect change on the complex issues they seek to address.

Ms. Borkenhagen's presentation turned out to be quite interesting and relevant to the class. Like other guests who spoke to the class, her presentation touched on markets, supply chain, and brand identity.

This afternoon the students worked on their group projects, while Dr. McDougall and I scouted some potential future locations for the Kelley in Oxford program. Dr. McDougall returned to St. Catz to grade exams, while I visited the Bate Collection of musical instruments. You can never run out of things to do in Oxford!

Week Three: The Home Stretch

Rolls-Royce building in Derby
It's Monday of our final week in Oxford. It's difficult to believe the program is nearly over. While we've been here for a while, we've kept ourselves very busy with class, homework, site visits, and travel. As anticipated, there hasn't really been enough time to do and see everything there is to do and see.

This morning started early. We met around 6.30 for our two-hour bus trip to Derby for the Rolls-Royce visit. Rolls-Royce is a world leader in providing integrated power systems for use on land, at sea, and in the air. In addition to their civil aerospace, defense aerospace and marine businesses, they have a growing business in the energy sector. Beyond their traditional manufacturing business, they are also growing as a service provider.

Rolls-Royce really provided an outstanding experience. We were met with a team of presenters who gave us an overview of the company as well as presentations on global supply chain and Human Resource considerations in a global environment. Before long we left the Learning and Career Development Center for the New Engine Assembly & Test Facility. Here we learned about the various large aircraft engines manufactured by Rolls-Royce, and then toured the plant floor where we saw a number of engines in production. The factory floor was a surprisingly clean and flexible space, where they produce about six engines per week, although they are considering strategic ways to shorten the production time for a single engine. Before leaving the assembly area, we learned a little about engine testing and certification standards.

Our next stop was the HP Blade Facility, where Rolls-Royce manufactures 16 types of turbine blades for their aircraft engines. In contrast to the assembly plant, this fairly new facility was noisy and highly automated. The blades are crafted with incredible precision. They are infused with patterns of microscopic holes which help the blades withstand engine temperatures of 1700 degrees Centigrade. Placement of the holes is checked with a precise magnifying camera. Each blade is inscribed with a tiny, three-dimensional dot matrix code which identifies not only the part and its date and time of manufacture, but also information about the machine operators and their work schedule.

After leaving the Blade Facility, we returned to the Learning and Career Development Center, where we enjoyed a lunch at the Rolls-Royce Heritage Center. Everyone enjoyed seeing some of the engines manufactured by Rolls-Royce during the past 100 years and reading about the company's many achievements. We were able to take some group photos before leaving the Rolls-Royce campus.

Group photo at Rolls-Royce
Next we drove through downtown Derby to take a quick look at the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution before heading to nearby Donington Park. At Donington Park, we were given a private guided tour of the Grand Prix Exhibition, which is the largest collection of Grand Prix racing cars in the world. Our guide, a professional driver and racing instructor, was quite knowledgeable of the facility, cars, and drivers. The museum included more than we could possibly take in during one visit. And to make us feel more at home, there were several Indy cars within the collection.

At Donington Park
We made it back to St. Catz about 11.5 hours after we started, and we were a tired group. But it wasn't time to relax: tomorrow is exam two, and the following day is the group presentations. It's crunch time!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day 14

A number of the students returned to London today. I spent the day in Oxford doing all of the touristy-things, including touring Christ Church, visiting Oxford Modern Art, enjoying high tea, climbing the spire at St. Mary the Virgin, and relaxing in the Botanic Garden. Here are some Oxford scenes:

1) Punting on the River Cherwell, and lawn tennis.

2) Chimes of Magdalen College from the Botanic Garden.

3) View of dreaming spires from St. Mary.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 13

I saw some of our students at breakfast this morning, just before they went to catch the bus to Stonehenge. Unfortunately for them, the weather is miserable. It has been grey and rainy all day - I guess this is what many people would think of as typical English summer weather. I hope they're getting some enjoyment out of their trip. I imagine they can find some places to stay dry once they reach Bath. I'm thinking about them on their trip, so I decided to post this picture of Stonehenge.

It's a good day for me to stay in my room and get some work done, although I hope I can go out to do something fun in Oxford this evening.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 12

The Radcliffe Camera, part of the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
The students are back in class this morning. The syllabus shows a lot to cover in a brief time: cross-national cooperation and agreements, global foreign-exchange markets, and the determination of exchange rates. They are also supposed to be ready to compare and contrast the views of The Business Roundtable and the AFL-CIO. It must be a challenge to complete all of this reading and these assignments while also traveling for the site visits and cultural experiences. These students certainly will have earned their three credit hours.

Most of the students are staying a little closer to home base this weekend, planning to see Stonehenge, Bath, and more of Oxford. We do have one student travelling to Holland, one attending the British Open at Turnberry, and one going kayaking in Scotland. I can't wait to hear about that.

Some of us who are still here plan to meet for dinner later this evening.

Day 11

Our class at the gate of Buckingham Palace. Once again on Wednesday we were off on an early bus to London. Rain on the way there concerned us, but the skies cleared just as we reached our stop at Victoria Station. We walked to Buckingham Palace for photo opportunities, and then proceeded across Green Park to Berkeley Square, where WPP is located. WPP, with 275 companies in its holdings, is a world leader in advertising and marketing services. About 50% of WPP's business is market research, while the rest is mainstream marketing and communication.

The Berger House on Berkeley Square, where WPP is located. At WPP, we spent a couple of hours with David Roth, CEO for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia of WWP's retail practice The Store. Mr. Roth's presentation focused on brands. We discussed what a brand is and looked at a model explaining brand loyalty, seeing how the model relates to the Top 100 and Top 10 brands. We touched on brand growth (value brands are growing, as are a number of brands from China) and looked at brand mapping. The students showed their creativity while participating in a couple of interactive exercises related to brand personality.

Mr. Roth discusses brands with the class.
Christina, Kristen, and Eric work on a brand 'obituary.' Following the WPP visit, we grabbed a quick lunch in Berkeley Square, thankful that the rain was still holding off. I was a little disappointed that very few of our students are familiar with the famous song which mentions Berkeley Square. Following lunch we walked through a busy retail district to the British Museum. There we saw the Rosetta Stone, and the students were free to explore on their own for the rest of the afternoon and evening. After spending some time in the museum, a number of students went shopping and had dinner before returning to Oxford relatively early.

Karen, Kristen, and Natalie check out the Rosetta Stone