To get a firsthand look at international commerce and a culture rich with global influences, undergraduate students in the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Mike Cottrell College of Business spent spring break in London as part of the college's flagship study abroad program, The London Experience.
Designed to expose undergraduate UNG business students to business practices and cultures other than their own, The London Experience showcases the multinational evolution of British industry. Students earn three semester hours by completing the requirements of the International Business course and the trip.
"Traditionally, The London Experience has been focused in financial services as London is a hub for international finance," said Dr. Russell Teasley, associate dean in the Mike Cottrell College of Business and director of The London Experience. "One of the new experiences this year was spending a day at BP. Students were taken on a tour of the BP facility and were exposed to an oil trading simulation where they were allowed to trade oil in a simulated marketplace."
The students toured a variety of businesses, including London's largest insurance exchange, Lloyd's of London, and a Jaguar assembly plant. Students also attended a musical in London's West End and toured Stonehenge.
"The London Experience really is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said student Josiah Mihok. "Being able to experience the businesses and culture of London with my fellow students, friends and professors is something that I will never forget."
During the same week as The London Experience, Dr. Donna Mayo, dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business, spoke at the 16th annual conference of the Oxford Round Table in Oxford, England. The Oxford Round Table is an international educational organization that promotes education, art, science, religion, and charity. The organization seeks to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of contemporary issues that affect the public good.
Held at Oriel College, Oxford University, this year's conference was titled "Women and Education: An Interdisciplinary Perspective," and included 38 participants from 10 countries. Mayo and Dr. Faye McIntyre, dean of the Richards College of Business at the University of West Georgia, were invited to speak. Individuals may only attend and speak by invitation.
Their presentation, titled "Education, Business and Women: Developing a Game Plan for Success," discussed the career path of women in business and education and current statistical trends of women in positions of authority in these organizations.
The Round Table provides an opportunity for scholars and leaders to discuss government policy in a collegial, "think-tank" atmosphere regarding issues presented at each meeting. Past themes have included considerations of human rights, social justice, economics, history, religion, ethics, morals, law, medicine, and the liberal arts and sciences.
"During our presentation, we examined the roles of women in leadership in both business and higher education and their levels of responsibility," said Mayo. "We also discussed how women can structure their careers to become leaders. The University System of Georgia has great examples of women in leadership ranging from Dr. Bonita Jacobs, president of our esteemed university, to my friend and colleague Dr. McIntyre, dean of the Richards College of Business at the University of West Georgia."
The London Experience is one of many initiatives supported by UNG to provide broad access to comprehensive academic and co-curricular programs that develop students into leaders for a diverse and global society, a key component of the university's mission.