Study Visit Modules:
Two study visits are undertaken in the course of the Executive MBA Programme: at the end of Semester 1, Year 1; at the end of Semester 3, Year 2.
Both Study Visits are credited modules, with the marks attained from the Study Visit project work going towards the a student's overall Semester grade.
During the First Study Visit, the class is provided with a relevant analytical framework and divided into consulting teams. Each team is presented with a management challenge from a company, or organisation, who partner with us for the duration of the visit.
The challenge takes the form of a management issue which is live within the company/organisation at that time.
The project teams utilise their previous programme learning, the analytical framework provided, and information derived from consultation with their assigned company, as the foundations of their assignment.
Presentations based on the team’s assessment of the performance of the host organisation in terms of the ‘presenting problem’ and accompanying framework are made to the partner company management team. This makes for a focused, intensive, real-time and engaging study visit structure with lots to be learned by both consulting teams and the host organisations.
During the Second Study Visit the class is introduced to the culture and economic story of a particular country or region.
This vist is more generalist in approach, focussing on big-picture issues of innovation strategies and valued added business eco-systems.
The class gets the opportunity to meet with the management teams of selected successful companies, in order to explore the dynamics of company growth in the context of regional and national development structures and supports.
The UCC Executive MBA had a very successful Study Visit to Helsinki in Finland in April 2017.
Based on the theme of Leading Change, over the four day visit thirty students in the class worked with a number of leading Finnish companies on live change management challenges within their organisations.
The students worked with Finland’s national broadcaster, YLE; software development experts Vincit; ICT and online service market leader Elisa; Finland’s main telecommunications company, DNA; building automation company Produal; and the Swedish-language media house KSF Media.
While in Helsinki the students were introduced to a number of change management theories and frameworks to utilise in their interactions with their partnered companies. On the final day of the visit each project team within the class presented to the companies their responses to the challenges.
This is the sixth time the UCC Executive MBA programme has visited Helsinki and the study visit is invaluable in creating networking opportunities between the students and the Finnish business sector, with its track record of being a hothouse of entrepreneurship.
The visit took place from Monday 24th April to Thursday 27rd April 2017 inclusive.
UCC Executive MBA Study Visit to Bologna 25th-28th April 2016
The UCC Executive MBA class recently undertook a study visit to Bologna, in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy.
The region is well known for its automotive and motorcycle industries, food production and ceramics production. It is a leading region in Europe in terms of entrepreneurship, innovation and economic dynamism. Regional GDP per capita is well above the EU average. In Emilia-Romagna the business sector is largely based on SMEs. There are over 420,000 active enterprises in the region.
The purpose of the visit was to examine the role that economic clusters play in the continued success of the region as an industrial powerhouse and how institutional public-private sector cooperation has created a favourable climate for business.
In particular the class utilised Michael Porter’s concept of the Diamond of National Advantage in order to frame their explorations.
The students explored the area's world-renowned automotive companies, by visiting the production lines at Lamborghini and Ducati, two high-marque brands that are at the heart of the automotive cluster in the “Motor Valley”.
The cluster produces one third of exports from the region, to a total value of 15.6 billion Euros, and is very oriented towards the international markets, Europe in particular.
They learnt more about the Ceramic industry cluster based in the city of Sassuolo, by visiting industry leader Fincibec/Monocibec.
Ceramics from the region are exported all over the world, with an annual production of over 600 million square metres, equal to approximately 13% of world production and 43.3% of that of the European Union.
Almost 65,000 people are employed within the ceramics cluster in the area.
They visited COESIA, where they found out more about importance of the packaging machinery manufacturing cluster.
The packaging industry is an important production specialization in the regional mechanical engineering cluster and numbers 563 local businesses with a total of 13,780 people employed.
One of the highlights of the visit was a visit to the MAST Foundation, a cultural and enterprise centre, where concepts underpinning Corporate Social Responsibility were discussed.
To round off our journey the class visited the Universitá Di Bologna to learn more about the challenges to, and responses of, the broader Italian economy, as well as meeting with representatives of FAV (Fondazione Aldini Valeriani) an industry organisation tasked with integrating technical knowledge with managerial culture.
In the Spring of 2015 the UCC Executive MBA class had a very successful Study Visit to Helsinki in Finland.
Based on the theme of Leading Change, over the four day visit the twenty-eight students in the class worked with a number of leading Finnish companies on live change management challenges within their organisations.
The students worked with
Finland’s national broadcaster, YLE;
printing and digital media company Unigrafia;
digital venture company LapioWorks Oy;
Finland’s main telecommunications company, DNA;
building automation company Produal;
and the media house KSF Media.
While in Helsinki the students were introduced to a number of change management theories and frameworks to utilise in their interactions with their partnered companies.
On the final day of the visit each project team within the class presented to the companies their responses to the challenges.
This is the fifth time the Executive MBA programme has visited Helsinki and the study visit is invaluable in creating and building upon, networking opportunities between the students and the Finnish business sector, which the Economist magazine has heralded as being a hothouse of entrepreneurship.
The visit took place from Monday 20th April to Thursday 23rd April 2015 inclusive.
In the Spring of 2014 the UCC Executive MBA had a very successful study visit to Barcelona.
The focus of the visit was to explore the business environment of the Catalonia region and its contribution to Spain’s economy.
Above: Abertis Foundation HQ
While there our students visited the headquarters of the Abertis Foundation in Castellet I La Gornal, where Enric Perez Diaz gave a talk detailing the growth of Abertis, initially as a toll road management company in Spain, Europe and across Latin America, and outlined details of its diversification and growth strategies for its telecommunications operations.
Abertis has now becomes one of Spain’s largest telecommunications and satellite technology providers.
The group is quoted on the Spanish stock exchange and forms part of the select Ibex 35 index, as well as the international indexes FTS Eurofirst 300, Standard & Poor’s Europe 350 and Dow Jones Sustainability.
Above: Enric Perez Diaz with students of the UCC Executive MBA
The class had a very interesting visit to the shared services centre of Colt Telecom. Here the class met with members of the Colt Telecom management team who gave a very insightful presentation on their activities and growth in the areas of voice, IT and data centre provision.
The company has operations in 22 countries across Europe and the Americas and are one of the largest foreign owned employers in the Barcelona metropolitan area.
Above: Freixenet, Sant Sadurni
The class also visited the Freixenet facility in the town of Sant Sadurni outside Barcelona. The family-owned Freixenet Group produces Cava wine and has become a leader in the global market, ranking number one internationally in the production of sparkling wines.
It is Spain's top beverage exporter, with a broad network of distributors in 150 countries.
While the production of Spanish Cava remains at its core, the Freixenet Group is also involved in the production of sparkling and still wines in Spain, France, California, Australia and Mexico.
Above: The EGarage at ESADE
The class also had the opportunity to visit the EGarage of Barcelona’s ESADE Business School.
The EGarage is a space created for ESADE students aimed at providing them with the resources and environment to incubate and start new business ideas.
While there our class met with Prof. Juan Pablo Vazquez Sampere, IE Business School Madrid, who gave a lecture on using Disruptive Innovation to enhance a Professional Career.
The class also met with Benjamin May, Director General of Masai Barefoot Technology Spain S.L. who gave a talk on the commercial business environment in Catalonia.
The Study Visit took place from the 13th - 16th April 2014.