EMBA Live-In Week bridges cultures
9/1/2006 - Each summer, an international homecoming occurs at the Kellogg School's James L. Allen Center.
Second-year Executive MBA students from Kellogg programs in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia gather at the Allen Center for a week of shared learning, new friendships and new perspectives - their International Executive MBA Live-In Week.
In reality, the event spans more than a single week, as various student groups from each program arrive and depart campus over three weeks, providing all participants with an opportunity to interact with their own classmates as well as Kellogg peers from other programs.
For students from the Evanston-based Kellogg EMBA programs, it's a chance to play host to a global ensemble of their peers from joint-degree programs. For students from the Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration at Tel Aviv University (KR), the School of Business and Management at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and the Otto Beisheim Graduate School at WHU in Vallendar, Germany, the Live-In experience offers a chance to study with the Kellogg faculty, as well as to explore the outstanding executive education facilities on the "home campus."
Students, faculty and staff find the annual intensive experience academically rigorous and socially invaluable, with all building deeper connections with all parts of the Kellogg global network.
"We use the term 'mother school' in Hong Kong to describe our alma maters," said Steve DeKrey '85, associate dean and HKUST director. He says the description is one that he, as a Kellogg graduate, appreciates personally. "But this partnership also works to describe the unique relationship we [in the partner schools] have with Kellogg. With the model formed 10 years ago, Kellogg has created a network of partners who hold the Kellogg values and aspire to the Kellogg culture."
The Kellogg relationship with HKUST dates to 1998. The first Kellogg joint program began in 1996, with Recanati and then expanded with the addition of the WHU-Otto Beisheim school in 1997. In 2002, Kellogg formed a partnership with the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto. (Schulich students visit Evanston during January for their Live-In experience.)
During Live-In Week, different cultural perspectives become the basis for learning. Given the complex geopolitical climate today, students sometimes bring both intellectual and emotional frameworks into the classroom.
"We came here with mixed emotions", said one student from Israel during the orientation session Aug. 13, designed to allow participants from around the globe to share professional and personal details.
For some of the Israeli students, in particular, it was difficult to leave home in the midst of political unrest while they attended classes. But the classes themselves, such as Strategic Crisis Management and Negotiations, offered real insights that they could take with them upon their return home, where, like all their colleagues, they hope to make a positive difference.
The Live-In experience offers a variety of learning opportunities, through case studies, lectures, simulations and collaborative group work. It also presents a chance for informal and social interactions with fellow students and faculty. Students were also treated to cultural excursions in Chicago and surrounding areas, as well as a dinner hosted by Dean Dipak C. Jain. During a reception, students also exchanged gifts with one another to symbolize the bonds they had built already, and which they will continue building in years to come as members of the global Kellogg School network.