Two campuses, two classes, one global classroom

School of Management courses unite to visit the Lion City: Singapore

All work and no play? No way. While in Singapore, students visited local attractions and enjoyed local cuisine.

When COVID-19 halted travel, the UB School of Management’s Global Programs team shifted its experiential learning programs to virtual platforms to allow students to continue to engage with alumni and partners around the world.

The move proved so successful that all of the school’s Global Programs now include a required virtual component along with an optional in-person trip, providing a robust, affordable and engaging experience for all students.

Each program brings together students from a variety of disciplines and levels. Through hands-on projects and cultural experiences, they develop the global and diverse mindset they need to succeed in today’s world of work.

This past fall, students in the International Business in Singapore course teamed up remotely with peers from the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) for two projects — one based in the U.S., the other in Singapore. The class challenges students’ thinking by exposing them to different perspectives on such topics as social innovation, finance, economic development and entrepreneurship.

Meanwhile in the International Business in East Asia class, students from the School of Management and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences worked with UB alumni in Indonesia and South Korea to explore a variety of industries, including food, financial technology, automotive and real estate development.

Then, over winter break, students from both courses came together to visit Singapore, where they got firsthand experience with the businesses and culture they had learned all about in Buffalo.

Wei Loon Leong, UB’s director of international alumni engagement and Nicole Hunter, clinical assistant professor of finance, led the inaugural trip, where students connected with their SIM classmates, UB alumni and local industry experts.

Master of Science student Nicholas Falk says the experience changed his outlook on international careers and broadened his cultural horizons.

“Collaborating on projects with and visiting my Singaporean classmates allowed me to gain a greater understanding of cross-cultural communication in a professional setting,” he says. “I encourage everyone to get out of their comfort zones and explore the world through this unique experiential learning opportunity.”

For Master of Business Administration student Marvel Ibraham, traveling to Singaporean businesses offered insight into international collaboration.

“It’s important to understand our own biases when working in international environments,” she says. “I especially appreciated the intercultural learning aspect of the course that focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Co-leader Wei Loon Leong says the trip would not have been possible without the kind support of UB alumni in Singapore and South Korea.

“Thank you to our alumni halfway across the globe who give their time and wisdom to help our students see the world,” he says. “You are truly making an impact.”