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

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 10

Holy Trinity Church in Stratford, burial place of William Shakespeare and his family.
It's Tuesday morning, and the students are taking their first exam. There was last-minute studying at the breakfast table. This afternoon's class will focus on governmental influence on trade. Today the students will also begin their work on team projects.

It's nice that class was scheduled to start a little later today, because we didn't return from Stratford-Upon-Avon until after Midnight. We arrived there around 15.15, giving us almost four hours before the play began. The weather was nice, so a few people spent time in the lovely park along the river. Most people walked around the town and saw the outside of some Shakespeare properties, such as the Bard's birthplace. Several people also visited the poet's grave in Holy Trinity Church. The site has been home to a church since 713, although the current building dates back only to 1210.

The RSC production of The Winter's Tale far exceeded everyone's expectations. The theatre itself, which is a temporary structure, was impressive with a thrust stage and two balconies.

RSC Courtyard TheatreWe had fantastic seats in the first three rows! The sets and costumes were amazing, and the director made good use of the fly space above the stage. The acting was remarkable. More than a group of people reciting iambic pentameter verse on a stage, these professionals embodied their characters and kept the audience thoroughly engaged with their emotional performances. I'm sure nobody will ever forget the 12 hairy dancing men, or the bear. The video from the bus ride home is a little dark, but here is Ben's reaction:

Tomorrow morning we leave early for another trip to London. This time we will visit WPP, the world leader in marketing communications services and their retail practice, The Store.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Week Two Begins

 Entrance to Holywell St., leading back to St. Catz from the City Centre.
The students are back in class this morning after a weekend of adventures on their own. Everyone had stories to tell at breakfast. I'll add some details about my weekend in a minute. According to the syllabus, this morning's class Globalization and Society, and International Trade and Factor Mobility Theory.

Immediately following lunch, we will head to Stratford-Upon-Avon for a Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Winter's Tale. Stratford is, of course, the birthplace, home, and burial place of William Shakespeare. We will have several hours to explore the town before the play begins this evening. There are plenty of Shakespeare properties to see, and a number of historic or scenic walks.

My weekend was good. I spent some time with two IU staff members visiting on holiday. We took a walking tour and tried our hands at punting on the Cherwell. Saturday I drove to nearby Wytham, but it began raining when I got there and rained most of the evening. Sunday was packed: I drove to Stonehenge, visited friends near Bristol, and stopped in Bath. I went to Bath on a whim, but it turned out to be an excellent decision. The city is beautiful, and I got to tour the Roman Baths, which stay open late in the summer. I highly recommend visiting Bath. Here's some of what I saw yesterday:

<The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Bath
Parade Gardens in Bath
The Great Bath at the Roman Baths

Friday, July 10, 2009

Day 5

View of St. Catz. This is the building where our students are staying and where they meet for class.
Everyone seemed to be a bit on the tired side after our trip to London, but everyone made it to class Thursday morning! The students turned in written reflections on the day before, including something new or surprising they encountered, and an insight related to international business and why it's important.

Dr. McDougall lectured briefly on how politics affect international business, before Professor Alan Rugman led a discussion with the class. Dr. Rugman is recently retired from the Kelley School, and is now on the faculty of nearby Henley College at University of Reading. Dr. Rugman helped to organize this trip, including arranging for our guest speakers on the first day.

The first portion of Dr. Rugman's class focused on multilateral systems affecting market economics, including the United Nations, International Monetary fund, World Bank, G8/G20, and World Trade Organization. The discussion then turned back toward the Flat World concept, but with a focus on Globalization versus Regionalism. We discussed various regions including the European Union. Dr. Rugman used some of his own research to illustrate his argument that Regionalism, rather than Globalism, is a more accurate description of the world's economy. He pointed out that only nine corporations are truly Global in scope.

The students had the afternoon and the rest of the weekend off. I'm sure some of them napped, like I did, and I know most of them finalized their weekend plans. Almost everyone is taking advantage of the opportunity to travel this weekend. One student is headed to Brighton, four are going to London, and eleven are headed as a group to Dublin! One student stayed here to rest and study. I'm staying nearby, but it turns out there are some other IU staff members visiting Oxford this weekend, so I'll be spending some time with them.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 4: London

Canary Wharf building housing Infosys
Everyone was up early Wednesday for our first group trip to London. We left St. Catz at about 7.25 to walk to the bus station, where we caught an 8.00 bus into the city. Once there, we successfully navigated the Tube to Canary Wharf, London's "new" financial center. We arrived in good time for our 11.00 visit with Infosys.

At Infosys, we had a great meeting with Arindom Basu, the head of European Operations. During our two hours together, Mr. Basu shared a little about himself and his "typical" day as a consultant with a global company. He gave us some background information about Infosys, which began in Bangalore in 1981 and now has 100,000 employees and a market capitalization of $200 billion. The UK office has 150 employees. Infosys focuses on business success in the "flat world," and its vision is to be the most ethical professional services firm in the world. Infosys is also a Top Ten "Green" company, and is involved regionally in a number of charity organizations. More generally, the presentation touched on the evolution of the consulting industry, the Flat World concept, and how to be successful in a global environment.

Mr. Arindom Basu

Our students asked a number of insightful questions before Mr. Basu began his presentation about cultural awareness and some of the major differences between the East and West as related to business. This turned out to be an excellent follow-up to Tuesday's class discussion.

Upon leaving Infosys, we had about an hour at Canary Wharf to grab lunch and explore the underground malls. We next headed to Piccadilly Circus, where we hopped on The Original Tour until arriving at Parliament Square. That was the end of our day together as a group, but a number of students stayed in smaller groups for the rest of the day. Many of us took a Thames River cruise from Westminster to the Tower of London. Some students took a "flight" on the London Eye, others shopped, and some met up with friends and other Kelley students who are currently studying at the London School of Economics. Dr. McDougall attended a West-End play, while I chose to see a musical. It turned out to be a late night for everyone, but we all made it back safely to Oxford.

The London Eye
Latif looks forward to some good shopping.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 3

A Sunday evening cricket game at a nearby College. There are cricket pitches all around us.

On Tuesday, 7 July, I'm headed to London in advance of our class trip there on 8 July. I won't see the students at all, but they are scheduled to have morning and afternoon class sessions. Some students will present their "cultural briefings" to the class. These are on topics of the students' choosing, including such things as cricket, Wimbledon, football rivalries, the Monarchy, popular music, and Churchill. Scheduled lecture topics include cultural, polital, and legal environments facing business.

First day of class, as seen from outside.
St. Catherine's College, as you can tell from earlier pictures, is a collection of modern buildings designed by Arne Jacobsen. Our class meets in a glass-walled seminar room. It's a little like being in a fish tank. However, there are actual goldfish in the water garden just outside the door. Ducks from the adjacent River Cherwell wander about.

Day 2: Class begins

Today is the first day of class for our students. Dr. McDougall is teaching a three week version of “D301: The International Business Environment.” The course examines cultural, political, economic, systemic, legal-regulatory, trade, and financial environments and how they affect the international business activities of firms in the United States and in selected other countries. Because we are offering the course abroad for the first time, we will of course be focusing on the United Kingdom. According to Dr. McDougall, “The location of the course at the Oxford University provides a unique opportunity to observe the diversity and complexity of the international environment. While the emphasis of the course is on analysis, the course will also acquaint students with many of the special terms, concepts, and institutions encountered in international business.”

Some people have asked me why we teach this particular course. It is an introductory course on International Business and is one of the required courses for our International Business major. For those students not pursuing a major in International business, the course can be used to help fulfill our International Dimension degree requirement. All Kelley students need six credit hours to meet this requirement, although there are several ways it can be done – including study abroad programs or study of a foreign language at an advanced level. I’m not sure how many of the students here are pursuing the International business major.

St. Catz dining hallToday began with an awesome breakfast buffet. We're looking forward to a repeat of that every day.

Class began with some introductory exercises and an overview of Globalization, International Business, and Global start-ups. After lunch in the dining hall, we were visited by an Oxford Don, Kenneth Addison, who gave us a quick and broad overview of Oxford's history including geologic, climate, cultural, and political influences.

I learned that "Oxford" comes from "Oxen ford," because in this valley the River Thames (known locally as the Isis) braids into multiple small branches, making it easy to cross. Obviously there is an extremely long history. Over time, the area became a center of learning. Based on monastic societies, the college system eventually developed and became Oxford University. (I can't really do justice to the lecture in a blog!) The Colleges are independent organizations endowed by various royalty and benefactors. More than 500 years ago there were 10; 16 were endowed between the 16th and 19th centuries, and 13 have been founded since 1950. Five women's colleges were founded between 1879 and 1893, but the women were not recognized as students until 1878. They were able to earn degrees after 1920, but not until the 1970s did any of the colleges become co-educational. Currently there are about 12,000 undergraduate students (commoners, exhibitioners, or scholars) and 4000 graduate students, making the University much smaller than IU-Bloomington.

The Sheldonian Theatre, designed by Christopher Wren and completed in 1668. All Oxford Students take their degrees in this building.

Following Dr. Addison's presentation, we experienced a lively lecture by Kelly Newman, a Shakespearean scholar. She taught us about Shakespeare's problem comedies, and specifically about "The Winter's Tale" - one of four tragic comedies, which we will see before we leave. I think her overview will really help us to understand this play. I've also purchased an annotated copy, which I'm reading now.

After class, some students completed their assigned reading. Many of them are now out exploring Oxford.

Day 1

St. Catz

Hello to everyone who has found this blog, Kelley in Oxford. I’m writing this on Sunday, July 5, 2009, but the blog site isn’t available yet, so I will post this as soon as I can. I am currently in Oxford, United Kingdom with 17 Kelley undergraduate students and one faculty member, Dr. Patricia McDougall, the William L. Haeberle Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Strategic Management.

It’s our first day here at St. Catherine's College. Unlike all of the previous short-term international study trips organized by Kelley, everyone travelled separately for this program. I arrived in London on the night of the 3rd and made it to Oxford at 9:16 this morning. Most of the students were here and checked in before 4:00 pm, or 16.00 as they would type here. We met for dinner in the dining hall at 19.00, where we were served tomato, courgette and basil soup, chicken a la king, and Summer Pudding. (I just learned that courgette is an alternate name for zucchini.) There was a brief rain shower this morning, but otherwise it has been a beautiful day, and both Prof. McDougall and I made it down to Broad Street to grab a bite to eat and do a little shopping.

summer pudding