As part of the International Business Heidelberg Project, a professor of COBE’s marketing department, Jason MacDonald, recently visited Heidelberg, Germany. The Heidelberg project is a collaborative effort between Boise State University’s College of Business and Economics, the Business School of Applied Science University of Heidelberg, Germany (SRH Heidelberg), the Idaho Small Business Development Center, and Boise State’s TECenter. The project offers students an opportunity to gain real world experience in international business by researching business opportunities in the German market.
Professor MacDonald’s trip to Heidelberg was conducted during Phase 2 of the Heidelberg Project. Phase 1 was implemented by Dr. Meredith Taylor Black’s IB320 students. The IB320 students provided four participating Idaho firms with initial reports on market opportunities in Germany. These initial reports were then sent electronically to the SRH Heidelberg MBA students for further analysis. While in Germany, Professor MacDonald met with those students to provide feedback on their research efforts.
MacDonald says of his experience:
“Interacting with the German MBA students was a great experience. They provided a lot of valuable insight on the threats and opportunities the Idaho companies would face if they entered the German market. In addition, I was very impressed with how well these students could communicate in English and other languages. While watching the presentations, for example, I overheard many of the students seamlessly transitioning between German, English, Spanish, and other languages. I came away wishing that our education system placed more emphasis on developing language skills that are essential for doing business in a global economy.
My impression of SRH Heidelberg is that it is a very progressive and modern German University. Unlike most German higher education programs, the classes at SRH are relatively small and look more like the business classes you would see our College of Business and Economics. Although the student-professor relationship is slightly more formal than it is here, the professors are very friendly and have an open door policy.
The town of Heidelberg is a classic German town with a large castle and picturesque streets and shops. Public transportation is excellent and, maybe because of the long-time US military presence in the region, you will find that most shop owners, restaurant servers, and even cab drivers speak English.
Overall, Heidelberg is an excellent destination for Boise State students that would like to study abroad. I highly encourage our COBE students to investigate the opportunities our IB program has developed by getting involved with the Heidelberg project or by studying at SRH Heidelberg.”