Business graduate students saying, ‘O, Canada!’

6/10/2008 - By: Elaine Casey

The College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno looked outside the United States this summer to teach 17 graduate students about global business. As part of the Management 691 course, students traveled to Toronto, in the Canadian province of Ontario, June 2-7 to experience global business first hand.

College of Business Dean Greg Mosier says it is important to take students abroad to examine business practices outside the United States. It is his seventh year teaching students in a class like this. He developed and taught a similar course as a Regents Service Professor of legal studies in business at Oklahoma State University.

“It is important to help Nevada students understand the global economy and look at the largest U.S. trading partner,” Mosier said. “Canada, with its similar culture and language but unique characteristics, offers students a great introduction to international business.”

Masters of business administration student Jeanne Corbit feels the course has provided her many benefits.

“People have a tendency to think places around the world are similar to their national origin or place of residence,” Corbit said. “By visiting other countries, you learn to appreciate the diversity of other cultures and what they have to offer.”

She added, “Since Canada is such a significant trading partner for the U.S., an increased understanding of free trade and the origins of the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] are imperative in today’s competitive global business environment.”

While in Toronto, students had the opportunity to visit organizations like the headquarters of General Electric (GE) Canada, the Canadian offices of retailer, Fossil Corporation, the Ontario Parliament and the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

Mosier said. “I want students to understand what it means to be global for companies like GE, what its like to enter retail markets in other countries, what role government institutions play in business and where their colleagues and competitors are coming from.”

“Understanding how business works in a global economy is paramount for success in business today,” Corbit said. “Thomas Friedman observed that ‘the world is flat,’ driving home the point that the borders between countries have become transparent. People do business with each other without ever seeing each other. Talking with people from these companies was very interesting.”

Mosier taught the course titled Global Business: A U.S./Canada Partnership. Jim McClenahan, Extended Studies’ director of management and executive programs facilitator.

“This course combines online instruction with business and cultural meetings in Toronto,” McClenahan said. “This three-credit management course reviews the provisions of NAFTA, the world’s largest bilateral trading partnership between the U.S. and Canada, and provides real-world experience in international business.”

Prior to traveling to Canada, students spent two weeks in intensive study on topics such as Canadian history, geography, demographics, the Canadian political system, as well as, NAFTA and free trade.

“I feel this international experience has helped me understand the dynamics of foreign relations as well as the value of learning from others,” Corbit said. “The College of Business MBA program has taught me to solve problems, make decisions and analyze data. It has taught me how to work with others. This class has been the icing on the cake.”

“My goal was to give students a broader perspective about business,” Mosier said. “We want them to have a diversified skill set in order to compete in the global market.”

The College of Business Administration’s part-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is ranked No. 17 out of 30 by BusinessWeek magazine.

In addition to the part-time MBA program, the college offers graduate programs in finance, accountancy, information systems and economics. Undergraduate programs offered include: accounting, information systems, supply chain management, finance, economics and international business.

The College of Business is home to the Nevada Small Business Development Center which provides professional services to small businesses throughout the state; the Nevada State Demographer’s Office which provides critical population forecasts to the State Department; the Center for Regional Studies which provides analysis and studies on issues related to economic development, such as quality of labor force, housing and tax structure; Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming; and Center for the Study of Logistics Management.


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