Haas Newsroom


December 19, 2008


Students Learn on the Road Over Winter Break


Haas students are jetting to Beijing, Brazil, and Bollywood this winter, leaving the classroom behind to see global business in action.


This year's winter trips range from the traditional, like the Finance Club's annual Wall Street Trek, to the more far-flung, such as seminars in the growing economic powerhouses Brazil and India.


Israel Trek 2009, a January trip organized by the Jewish Business Club, is devoted to understanding the country's cultural, religious, and business culture. During the 11-day excursion, students will get a high-level view of the Middle East, with meetings scheduled with President Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and other high-level leaders.


"Students will be able to see the world's hottest political region with their own eyes and relate to its people, while gaining a true understanding of the region's dynamics," says Alex Levitch, MBA 09, one of the organizers.


The travelers will explore Israel's many layers: a center for advanced technology and a source of skilled labor, as well as a center for religious and political turmoil. They’ll hear the perspective of a Palestinian journalist, lunch in a Bedouin tent, and watch the sunrise from the Masada Fortress -- King Herod's ancient palace. They’ll tour the Golan Heights, the Roman city of Caesarea, Christian and Jewish holy sites, and take a quick jaunt into Jordan.


Two groups will be visiting China in January. The Finance Club will tour eight banks in the global financial mega-city Hong Kong, while the Haas Winter Break China Trek will visit a range of companies -- including Google and the Pacific Sogo retail chain -- in Beijing and Shanghai, with side trips to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.


Another Finance Club group remained stateside with a whirlwind tour of Wall Street, visiting seven large firms from Dec. 17 to Dec. 19. "Getting the chance to walk the halls of a Wall Street bank and talk with former MBAs a couple years removed from school provides a learning experience that can't be replicated on campus," says trip leader Chad McNearl, MBA 09.


The Clausen Center for International Business will offer two MBA seminars in January to Brazil and India. Students visiting India will swing through the high-tech capital of Bangalore and then head to Mumbai for a glimpse of Bollywood studio Mehboob Productions. On the Brazil trip, students will visit companies in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro.


Also in January, a team of four Haas undergraduates has been invited to the University of Aukland, New Zealand, to compete in the Champion's Trophy Case Competition. Last year, the six-day competition involved developing strategies for Air New Zealand and Charlie's, a soda and fruit juice company listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.


The second annual Haas Japan Trek is planned in March during spring break. Japanese students have secured funding from the MBA program office and 10 corporate sponsors to make the trip affordable. Students will have the chance to immerse themselves in Japan's rich history and business culture, visiting five cities with stops at companies like Toyota, as well as visits to historical sites.