The CUHK MBA Takes Students From Google In Silicon Valley To Social Enterprises In Zambia

MBA students at CUHK Business School are travelling the globe to learn how to develop business and give back to society at the same time

For any MBA student, there’s no greater method of learning than getting your hands dirty. At CUHK Business School, MBAs are getting out of the classroom and into the field to learn about global business first-hand.

So far, this year’s cohort have visited the USA, Zambia, and Taiwan on the school’s study trips. Each of these trips has exposed students to a mix of business practices, economics, management and leadership practices, and cultural and social issues.

Students on the trips have to plan projects, pitch business ideas, and get to visit local enterprises and businesses as well as listen to lectures and seminars delivered by local faculty.

Each location is carefully-selected to expose students to a unique business environment and, with other destinations including Chile, China, Germany, Hong Kong, and Thailand, CUHK students complete their MBA having truly experienced business across the globe.

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This year’s USA study trip took students to Silicon Valley to focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. With CUHK’s international reputation, students had access to top companies such as Google and the opportunity to gain insights into strategic technology trends from speaker sessions covering areas such as social networks, facial recognition, and data solutions to name a few.

One of the highlights of the trip was the 'Shark Tank' pitching session. Here, groups of students presented new business ideas to a judging panel in a 10-minute pitch. The panel then gave feedback and asked questions before deciding which idea they’d invest in and why.

A champion of corporate social responsibility, no CUHK Business School trip would be complete without understanding the human side of the tech industry and with talks from ?WhatIf! and Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS, they got insight into how innovators can accelerate life-saving and enhancing solutions around the world.

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Social entrepreneurship and enterprises were also a key part of the MBA Africa study trip to Zambia. Here, students got to experience drilling a water point with manual techniques, which showed them the impacts of a sustainable water supply, sanitation, and water quality on public health.

Meeting with local entrepreneurs, they also got in depth experience of social sustainable enterprises through planning and preparing business models to improve health and sanitation in the village of Kalabo, in the Western Province of Zambia.

These experiences of the development of local communities and the impact of foreign investments, compiled with meeting local entrepreneurs in agriculture and industry, helped students understand the challenges and opportunities in emerging markets.

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The positives of corporate social responsibility (CSR) were also championed at the Social Entrepreneurship Forum held during the six-day study trip to Taiwan, where topics such as creativity, technology, and entrepreneurship were covered in lectures by distinguished local professors.

At the heart of this trip was the ethos of creative and sustainable business solutions. Through company visits, students got to see first-hand that CSR practices not only garner good will, which can protect a company from negative events, but that corporates can do well by doing good.

On the trip, students were inspired by the B Corporation, a coalition aiming to create a new Asian economy where companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world.

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In all, these combined study trips serve to expose MBA students to diverse cultures and business environments to show them how businesses can succeed and benefit their communities at the same time. This blend of success and social conscience is a core part of the MBA curriculum at Hong Kong's CUHK Business School.

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