The Global Business Center in the Business School and the Canadian Studies Center collaborated to create a new program introduced in 2007, the Canada Global Business Study Tour. Despite the fact that the trade and investment relationships between the United States and Canada are among the largest in the world, the University of Washington MBA curriculum does not formally include Canada. The program supplements the MBA curriculum by introducing students to Canadian business practices. Through firsthand interactions with company executives, students have gained exposure to policy differences, macro economics, trade relationships, urban planning procedures, and the intricate planning for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Vancouver’s proximity to Seattle has allowed students facing time or budget challenges to participate in an international learning experience while highlighting the importance of the Canada-U.S. relationship.
During the 2011 Vancouver Canada Study Tour participants met with executives from TD Canada Trust, Canada Export Centre, Vancouver Convention Centre, Electronic Arts Inc, and Powerex. Participants also visited the U.S. Consulate at Vancouver to meet with the Consul General. All visits incorporated an in depth question and answer session aimed at exploring and understanding Canadian leadership style, bilateral trade differences and relations, and business competitiveness in a global economy.
The 5th Annual Canada Study Tour was led by MBA student, Chris Bajuk. The group was accompanied by Foster faculty member, Lillian Cheng, who has extensive international business teaching experience at both the MBA and undergraduate level both here and abroad. Dr. Cheng was able to broaden her own knowledge on cross-border business issues and facilitated academic discussions with the student group.
By participating in the 2011 Canada Study Tour, Foster MBA students were exposed to a diverse range of service sector companies giving them the opportunity to learn about trade and economic development – both top priorities in North American business communities. As leadership is a strong component of the Foster MBA, participants were able to compare their own leadership styles to those at successful Canadian companies they visited. Moreover, participants learned more about employment in Canada and opportunities for doing business regionally.
The 5th Annual Canada Study Tour was funded by a Government of Canada Student Mobility Program Grant. The Canada Study Tour is part of a new partnership between the Canadian Studies and Global Business Center – North American Economic Partnerships – to increase Canadian content in business courses and programming.