IFS experience a ‘gold standard’ for MBA

Students at UFred’s Sandermoen School of Business travelled to Amsterdam in August to attend the International Field Study (IFS) as part of their Global Capstone Project.

The Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) students had the opportunity to attend specialized workshops, including a masterclass on international business culture hosted by DutchBasecamp. Students also had the opportunity to speak with foreign business leaders, including Jon Hoem, CEO and Co-Founder of CorFlow Therapeutics, and Sandermoen’s founder and Chair of the Board of Directors, Kjetil Sandermoen.

EMBA student Joanne Thompson, who is a member of the Social Enterprise Leadership stream at Sandermoen, called the IFS a positive learning experience.

“The ability to learn and link a capstone to a foreign country and culture is a gold standard for an MBA offering,” she said, adding that she continues to reflect on the knowledge accrued.

EMBA student Craig Emblem, a member of the Global Leadership stream, said the experience taught him there isn’t one solid blueprint for business.

“A successful business plan is derived from good planning, but also creative and innovative ideas,” he said.

Emblem particularly identified with the challenges presented by Hoem, adding that the information he shared was “impactful.”

“The challenges he faced were pertinent to topics in the MBA,” Emblem said. “I learned that there are many ways to operate a business in international markets.”

The study included site visits to DutchBasecamp, a not-for-profit that helps startups and founders scale internationally, and welder rental specialists Red-D-Arc. The visits gave students a firsthand look at innovative ways start-ups can be housed, and the opportunity to speak with start-up founders about their journeys and lessons learned.

Student Services Specialist Elizabeth Murray noted a good balance between academic and industry experts.  She added that all the students she spoke with felt it was a rewarding experience.

“Everybody got along so well, and spirits were always high. They were constantly engaged with the speakers, and the conversations really took us to some interesting places.”

To find out more about the Executive MBA program and other programs offered by the Sandermoen School of Business, click here.