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Carroll School of Management Graduate Programs

The 2011 International Management Experience Trip to Asia Was "Life Changing," Students Say

Lecturer Prof. Gregory L. Stoller hosted the 11th annual IME Asia Trip with 24 MBAs

August 9, 2011 | Students and Community

Carroll School of Management Students Visit Hong Kong Disneyland
Carroll School of Management Students Visit Hong Kong Disneyland and 12 Other Prominent Businesses

The MBA degree is often touted as a life changing degree, but  students from the Boston College Carroll School of Management who participated in the 2011 International Management Experience trip to Asia last month feel this more intensely than most.

Lecturer Prof. Gregory L. Stoller hosted the 11th annual IME Asia trip with 24 MBA students. The class traveled to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Korea and Shanghai as part of their four-credit course. The journey spanned over two weeks and included visits to 13 big name companies including Hong Kong Disneyland, the Hong Kong Gen. Chamber of Commerce, Standard Chartered First Bank, Hyundai Card and the Puibright Shoe Factory in China. Carroll School students also got to hear first-hand from alumni on their experiences with doing business in Asia.

For MBA students the IME Asia program was a life changing event. Mark Wasif ’12 is working toward a dual concentration in corporate finance and entrepreneurship. Although he grew up in and worked in Dubai before applying to MBA school, seeing the huge cultural differences between doing business in Asia and the West was “fascinating, intriguing and highly appealing," he says.

Eileen M. Holcomb ’12 has already traveled to 30 countries but the IME program made her see that she could enjoy working abroad long-term. She interns at the Bank of America this summer and is already researching their Asia-based offices. Holcomb has a concentration in corporate finance, and felt especially welcomed by Carroll School alumni during her trip. Twenty alumni gave the group a special evening tour of the city and offered precious insight into how business is conducted there.  "Getting the Boston College treatment outside of the US was very special," she says.

Stoller has worked and lived in Asia and speaks several Asian languages. He thinks that this year’s IME Asia program was perhaps the best he has hosted. "The company visits and alumni events were all fantastic. The alumni were interesting and ranged from people working in financial services to those running their family business. Our students learned more from this trip than they could ever gain from case studies in a classroom,” he says.

The IME program was rigorous and entry was competitive. Days were jam-packed with visits, country briefings and alumni briefings. There was some sightseeing, [the group saw a floating market in Bangkok and the border between North and South Korea], but not a huge amount, Stoller admits. Now back in Boston, the students must write a five page research paper outlining how precisely the IME Asia program helped their career prospects.

Holcomb isn't fazed by the workload; the program was entirely worth it. "I could move to Shanghai tomorrow," she sighs. "That city is magical."