When Raj Bharti ( @Raj_Bharti ), managing principal of Collaborate Consulting in Seattle, WA, was researching executive MBA programs, he was particularly interested in gaining international exposure and broadening his global perspective. At Wharton San Francisco, he found that the ability to customize his education allowed him to participate in multiple global classes and activities across both coasts. Now that he’s about to graduate, we asked him to talk about those experiences and how they added value to his education. Here is what he said:
On Global Modular Courses:
During my time at Wharton, I participated in two Global Modular Courses, which we call GMCs. These are mini-courses — usually a week long — that do a deep dive into a specific business topic in another part of the world. They are a good example of how Wharton students can tailor their education by picking courses based on their interests in a specific subject or a geographic region. Several GMCs are offered each term so there are a lot of choices. An added bonus of the GMCs is that they expand your professional network. On my GMCs, I met students from the host countries, Wharton EMBA students from Philadelphia, full-time MBA students, and even a few undergraduate students. They were always diverse, international groups and we learned a lot from one another.
My first GMC was on “Marketing in Emerging Economies: Understanding and Marketing to the Chinese Consumer” in Beijing. Previously, I served as a regional lead in the Middle-East for one of Microsoft’s marketing programs and had travelled extensively in that role; however, I had not spent much time in Asia and was longing to fill that knowledge gap. During the GMC, it was thought-provoking to learn how consumers, products, pricing, and positioning differ in China, and how population growth and fresh investments are affecting the marketing strategy. While I was in Beijing, I also took the opportunity to travel to Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Xi’an.
My next Asian adventure was the Japan GMC, where the focus was on “Global Supply Chain Management.” The class visited Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe over the course of seven very full days. We did company visits at places, such as Nissan, Panasonic, Aeon, Daikin, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, where we witnessed how quality and safety are engrained in the business ethos like nowhere else. We also spent time focusing on deep cultural characteristics, especially in the traditional city of Kyoto. I was astonished to see how accomplished yet humble Japanese people are; we observed senior executives bowing to us until our bus departed after company visits. That’s something you won’t see in North America or Europe. This was my favorite GMC from a learning perspective because we were able to pack so much into a single week.
Originally published on the Executive MBA site on April 22, 2015.