MBA-IM: Learning Experience of a special kind 

Video Conference with MBA Students from Wyoming 

Modern technology makes it possible: students from the MBA International Management at Pforzheim University discussed the results of a Harvard Business case study with students from the MBA program of our partner university in Wyoming, U.S. via video conference.  

The subject of the case study was the situation of the multinational corporation Chiquita in the context of international trade disputes over the EU’s trade policy on banana imports in the 1990s. The teams of students had to put themselves in very different roles: One team each from Pforzheim and Wyoming took the role of the management of Chiquita. They worked on possible strategies responding to the challenges in the wake of EU trade policy and brought them up for discussion. In a lively and controversial debate, they discussed which strategy was more convincing.

In the next round five other teams had to present on the trade dispute and its effects from different regional perspectives (EU, U.S., Latin America and ACP countries) as well as from the perspective of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The very enthusiastic presentations and discussions showed how deeply the students incorporated into their different perspectives and that they considered potential opportunities and risks. The feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive and the indirect competition between students from Wyoming and Pforzheim was found to be very exciting and stimulating.

The case study was carried out in the "Global Economic Integration" MBA course taught by Prof. Dr. Harald Strotmann and Prof. Ph.D. Anne M. Alexander (Wyoming). A nice side effect was that our MBA students and the MBA students from our partner university in Wyoming got to know each other for the first time through videoconferencing. In October of this year, the American students will come to Pforzheim for a week in order to attend joint classes and to visit several companies. Last year, "sustainability" was the overarching topic during the week that the two MBA programs spent together.

After a succesful video conference: MBA students together with Prof. Dr. Harald Strotmann

Text: Prof. Dr. Harald Strotmann / translation: Julia Schulz
Photos: Obazee Osamudiamen, Julia Schulz