Tuesday, July 21, 2009
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?
Monday, July 20, 2009
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
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.
We 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:
Monday, July 13, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
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
Monday, July 6, 2009
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.
Today 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.
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.
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.