“This experience gave me a new understanding of the world and various cultures”
From 15 October until 17 November 2018, twelve American students from MSM’s partner school ‘Nichols College’ visited MSM as part of their six-week international specialization. Together with the residential Master in Management students, the Nichols students learned a lot during lectures, company visits and the international environment at MSM on how to steer an organization to high performance in a diverse and international business context.
The international specialization started with a course in managing cultural diversity. A very important topic to start with as MSM is an international business school with students from all over the world. During the lectures the students learned through a mix of lecturing, interactive class and group discussions, as well as practical problem-based casework and exercises how to manage cultural diversity.
Nichols student Samantha Szkutak shared her experience with us “the Maastricht attachment was an incredible experience. It was educational in an academic sense, but also in an interpersonal way. Studying abroad is an experience all in itself, and getting outside the small realm of home was valuable.”
The program continued with the Entrepreneurship & Innovation course which provided the students with an evidence based approach to Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The students developed an overall understanding of the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation for organizations and society.
The last course of the six-week study attachment was in Strategy and Planning, .In this course the students got an overview of the strategic planning and management process, studied the main elements of the process in practice, and developed a thorough understanding of generic strategies and how they might be pursued by different business types.
“The three courses combined taught me how to communicate and collaborate effectively with various cultures and how to leverage the skills we learned in class to improve team dynamics.” says Samantha Szkutak.
Putting theory into practice and learning outside the classroom has also been an important aspect of this study attachment, therefore three corporate visits were organized. The students visited Urbanponics, a Dutch company that promotes the production of nutritious food, The European Commission in Brussels and Tony Chocolonely, a Dutch company focused on producing and selling chocolate closely following fair trade practices, strongly opposing slavery and child labor and combatting exploitation.
“The European Commission was really informative to our group of students. Being from the U.S., we were less familiar with the work of the EC and the information presented was almost all new to us. It encouraged us to broaden our horizons and learn more about the world around us versus focusing in the area we live”, Samantha Szkutak stated.
Also, social events and exploring Europe were part of the study attachment. A city walk through Maastricht to get to know the city was organized at the beginning of the trip followed by a movie night for all students. As Maastricht is located in the heart of Europe it has been easy for the students to travel to other countries and cities and broaden their cultural horizons.
The heart of Europe
As a few last words about the international specialization at MSM Samantha said “Studying in Maastricht, The Netherlands was the best experience I could have asked for. Prior to coming here, I was unsure how the classes, students, and overall experience would be. I was excited and had my own expectations, which were all beyond fulfilled. From this experience, I took home knowledge and skills from the courses, a new understanding of the world and various cultures, and most importantly, I took home new friendships and relationships with not only my peers from Nichols in the US but from students in over 30 different countries. Studying in Maastricht could not have been a better experience!”
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