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Students from Kellogg’s Full-Time, Part-Time, Executive MBA and international MBA programs joined their counterparts from schools such as IE (Spain), ESSEC (France) and Lancaster University Management School (UK).

Students from Kellogg’s Full-Time, Part-Time, Executive MBA and international MBA programs joined their counterparts from schools such as IE (Spain), ESSEC (France) and Lancaster University Management School (UK).

International opportunities

Kellogg students join their counterparts from around the world at an international conference focusing on the European Union

By Amy Trang

9/16/2010 - From worldwide exchange programs to global study trips, Kellogg students enjoy an abundance of opportunities to enhance their international business skills.

The International Programme gathers MBA students from around the world to focus on issues facing the European Union and the implications for transatlantic political and business relations.
The International Programme gathers MBA students from around the world to focus on issues facing the European Union and the implications for transatlantic political and business relations.
Earlier this year, for example, a group of Kellogg students traveled to Brussels for a firsthand look at issues facing the European Union. Seven Kellogg students attended the Interstate Programme conference, which brought students from European and U.S. business schools together to discuss the union’s top economic, political and social concerns.

The diverse group of students — from Kellogg’s Full-Time, Part-Time, Executive MBA and international MBA programs — joined 45 students from business schools around the world, including IE (Spain), ESSEC (France) and Lancaster University Management School (UK). The Kellogg delegation was supported by the school’s International Business and Markets Program, which coordinates the school’s international curricular offerings.

The annual conference, founded in 2000, is a nonprofit venture that gathers future business leaders from the U.S. and Europe to analyze current European Union issues and their implications for transatlantic political and business relations.

“I wanted an opportunity to interact with students from across the globe, specifically discussing economic and political issues that greatly affect us all,” said Lena Zarkhin, a Part-Time student. “Being a Russian native and studying in Spain during college, I’ve always been interested in what is going on outside the U.S. This conference instantly sparked my interest both from the networking aspect and the educational one.”

Leaders, including journalists, academics and government officials, spoke to students candidly about the issues facing Europe, including immigration, innovation, global trade relations and the effects of the financial crisis. Students also visited the European Parliament in Brussels and met with government officials.

Speakers at the 2010 conference included Janusz Lewandowski, the European Union’s commissioner for financial planning and the budget, and Fabian Zuleeg, chief economist at the European Policy Centre. The insiders’ perspectives resonated with the students, resulting in spirited debates about the issues.

“Many of us found it very valuable to be put so far out of our comfort zones,” said Executive MBA student Loren Borud ’10. “We were faced at times with the choice of squirming quietly or taking a risk by publically engaging the ‘experts’ on their subject matter and turf.”

The students said a key outcome of the program was the network they began to build with other International Programme delegates.

“Without a doubt, I know that this was one of the greatest experiences at Kellogg,” Zarkhin said. “I learned that despite our differences and respective opinions of each other's countries, we had a common thread that made it easy to connect as MBA students. I will continue to leverage the MBA network going forward, as I have seen firsthand already how valuable it can be.”