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March 2011

Immersion learning: China

Greg Stoller is organizing another group of Boston College graduate students who will pitch clients in Beijing and climb the Great Wall early next year. A weeklong trip to China is the final project in the course MM811: International Consulting Project, Asia, an advanced practices fall semester elective that Stoller has taught for nine years.

Throughout the fall, students in the intensive course work in three separate operating teams, researching and consulting with clients of Beijing-based China Consultants of Accounting and Finance Management (a boutique strategic consulting firm). The teams communicate throughout the semester by phone, fax, e-mail, and WebCT, working with real clients on real-world strategies and solutions that address issues such as value-added (EVA) valuation, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, or nonperforming loans.

In January, the students travel to the client site in Beijing, where they pitch business plans to clients.

The course, which is open to second-year Carroll School MBA and MSF students (who are given preference) and to students in the BC Law School and Graduate School of Social Work, is a singular experience and opportunity, says Stoller. “It gives students a chance to do real work with actual clients, and synthesize all the material they learn in class,” he says. “And they get to work with the Chinese, who are legendary at being master negotiators and tough to do business with.”

Asian international consulting project

Stoller chronicles his most recent excursion—and further describes the program— in a video slideshow of the January 2011 trip, produced by BC’s Office of News & Public Affairs.