Sobey EMBA Trade Mission Part 2: Connected to the WorldCharlene Boyce
When students join the Sobey Executive MBA program at Sobey School, they hear a lot about the network of more than 670 alumni they now have access to, and their new support network of class peers. But the relationships developed in and by the program will extend beyond these and around the world, especially during the International Trade Mission.
Kisserup International Trade Roots is the organization the school partners with to help build the students’ relationships with local companies they will represent, and then bridge to the international community.
“Kisserup is pleased to be part of the Sobey School Executive MBA International Trade Mission,” says Pernille Fischer Boulter, President & CEO. “We help the students and companies prepare, and try to set realistic expectations. The feedback we have from our contacts in the cities we’ve visited with the Sobey School is that the students make a terrific impression. They ask good questions and capably represent the companies they’ve been assigned to. As a group of professionals, they definitely show the Atlantic Canadian region is a global player, and we have seen many actual business opportunities develop from the leads generated in market.”
Sobey EMBA selects destinations in consultation with ACOA, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, based on opportunities they see for growth markets abroad.
“Nova Scotia and the Atlantic region are home to a wide range of companies and industries with tremendous growth potential, and nothing makes us happier than bringing those to the attention of the world,” notes ACOA manager Doug Phelan. “At the same time, we try and cultivate that sense of export opportunity here at home. The International Trade Mission is one way we work to achieve those goals.”
Students in the Executive MBA program are partnered with each other, in pairs with complementary skills and experience, and are then connected to a company in their second year. Kisserup helps the pairs and company come to a mutual understanding of what is possible and feasible to achieve in the time allotted in a trade mission.
Students come away from the trade mission with global contacts, a deeper connection to companies in Atlantic Canada, and the extended network of Kisserup’s support.
During this year’s trip to Belgium, Denmark, students had the opportunity tour a chocolate company, led by the company CEO; a beer production facility; and then Novo Nordisk, a world supplier of insulin. Among the companies represented were companies from the Ocean Tech Supercluster, a growing network of innovation recently established in Nova Scotia. They were welcomed at a reception by the Canadian ambassador at the Canadian embassy in Denmark, along with business representatives and a group of local EMBA students. The opportunities fostered in an environment that rich with connections will invariably help these students contribute meaningfully to our economy.
The Sobey School Executive MBA International Trade Mission does not just create a positive impact for the participants – it helps build the economy of the region, through the companies that participate and through the corollary effects on the companies employing the participating students. And that is good business indeed.