November 14, 2011

Johnson School Plans Expansion In Latin America

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Dean of the Johnson School Joseph Thomas recently traveled to Bogota, Colombia, and Monterrey, Mexico, as part of a Johnson School initiative, first announced in December 2010, to expand the Cornell – Queen’s Executive MBA Program to Latin America.The Johnson School hopes to have business programs “up and running in both locations by summer 2012,” William Huling, associate dean of alumni affairs, said in an October press release.“I hope [these programs] will strengthen our relationship with alumni and companies in those two countries as we expand globally and develop our Emerging Markets Institute,” Thomas said. “[Cornell] has strong alumni in both [Bogota and Monterrey], who are interested in remaining connected with the school and helping with our global strategy.”Through the program, students use a broadcast studio in Sage Hall, where the professor conducts the class, according to a University press release. A typical day is four hours of instruction followed by lunch and a four-hour class in a different course.Although the programs have not been approved by the Colombian government, Danny Szpiro, associate dean for Executive Education at the Johnson School, said the country has responded positively to the proposal.“We have been pleased and impressed by the strong support and reception we have received in Colombia,” Szpiro said in an October press release.Thomas added that it is imperative for Cornell to increase its worldwide brand.“We need to, over time, increase our presence in other countries.  We want Cornell and the Johnson to be known around the world,” Thomas said.Some professors in the program agreed that the Johnson MBA program should be expanded beyond Canada and the United States.“It is hard to imagine doing business without a global perspective these days, so it is hard to imagine successful business education … without the same global perspective,” Prof. Andrew Karolyi, business, said. Senior Lecturer in the Johnson School Elena Iankova said the potential expansion to Latin America is one part of the school’s “study trips” into China, India, Brazil, Russia and other countries.The study trips’ “common goal is to provide first-hand practical experience to our students about the dynamic business environment and business operations in these countries,” Iankova said.But the programs in Bogota and Monterrey will be very different from the study trips currently offered.  While the study trips send Johnson students abroad, the new programs will be offered to international students.“In [these] program[s] the students work and live in their home country, immediately applying what they are learning to their current job,” Thomas said. The hope is that this will not only benefit business in those countries, but also create stronger Cornell and Johnson ties through alumni within those countries, he said.“I think of the Johnson and Cornell brand as a global one, not just a national one.  We attract students from every corner of the globe,” Karolyi said. “Every stakeholder in the school benefits.”

Original Author: Duncan Yandell