International Consulting Project & the Global Business Environment.
Two study visits are undertaken in the course of the UCC Executive MBA: at the end of the first semester, in year one; and at the end of the third semester, in year two.
Both are credited modules, with the marks attained from the study visit project work going towards a student's overall semester grade.
The visits involve:
Working on change management challenges with leading national and regional companies and interacting with senior management personnel on a Team Consulting Project;
To exploring the nature and challenges of strategic organisational growth, set against a backdrop of regional and national economic development and cultural frameworks.
Helsinki Study Visit
Helsinki Study Visit 2017
The UCC Executive MBA returned to the capital of Finland, Helsinki, in April 2017.
Based on the theme of Leading Change, over the four day visit the class worked with a number of leading Finnish companies on change management challenges they were facing within their organisations, using a Team Consulting Project format.
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.
They reflected on how to correctly diagnose the change issue, and worked with senior managers on identifying the nature and scope of solutions, resulting in each project team formulating and presenting a response to their companies' challenge.
As always, the structure of the visit made for a focused, intensive, real-time enagagement experience, allowing the students to use their programme learning, the analytical frameworks provided on site, and their interactions with company management, to create solutions.
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.
Pic Copyright: Jussi Hellesten/Helsinki Marketing.
Bologna Study Visit
Bologna Study Visit 2016
In April 2016 the class visited Bologna, the main city of Emilia-Romagna, in north-eastern Italy.
The region is world renowned 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.